The wad-wavers at Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United will have cast ravenous eyes over The Scotsman on Sunday, lapping up the words of Henk-Maarten Chin, agent of Celtic centre-half Virgil van Dijk who had some encouraging stuff to say for would-be suitors.
City in particular are looking to bolster a backline that is wafer-thin in depth, a theory Wigan proved in beating them 2-1 in the FA Cup quarter final.
Manuel Pellegrini’s charges are a massive 17/4 to recover from that setback by beating Barcelona in the Nou Camp next.
Van Dijk’s name sits on a list of many that will work its way onto Sheikh Mansour’s well-polished desk over the summer having impressed during his first season in Glasgow.
The former Groningen man is likely to cost prospective suitors a wedge on top of the £2.6m the Bhoys forked out to bring him over from the Eredivisie.
He’s gone on to become the stalwart of their record-breaking defence that kept 12 successive league clean sheets.
Some textbook trumpet blowing from agent Chin has followed this stellar string of showings, saying:
“There is certainly interest. Many English clubs are interested in him – the absolute top clubs.”
“There’s certainly far more interest than we could have dreamed of. I expect something will happen for him this summer – the intention for him would be to earn a top transfer.”
Hardly sitting on the fence, Mr Chin’s chat will not be appreciated by fiery Celtic boss Neil Lennon, but he will be preparing for the worst with regards to the future of his star stopper.
His height and pace is what will appeal most to City, with languid Martin Demichelis once again made the scapegoat for their defensive shortcomings at the weekend.
Skipper Vincent Kompany will return to marshal their back four in Catalonia, which will be a massive boost to a team that have kept just two shut outs in his absence – against Blackburn and West Ham – since December 1st.
An inspirational performance will be required from the Belgian if City are to progress and a price of 6/1 says the visitors will not allow their hosts a goal.