Former Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has revealed why the Magpies didn’t sign Virgil van Dijk from Celtic, despite being heavily linked with the defender.
Van Dijk was linked with a number of English clubs including Newcastle and Arsenal before eventually joining Southampton.
And Pardew has admitted that tensions between himself and the club’s chief scout Graham Carr put paid to any move for the Dutchman.
Carr reportedly wanted to go in a different direction, and effectively stopped the move from progressing.
The Magpies are said to have been put off by the £13 million price tag for the former Groningen player, clearing the way for the Saints to make a move.
But Pardew insisted that Van Dijk was regularly discussed at transfer meetings at St James’ Park during his final year at the club.
He told Sky Sports: “We looked at [van Dijk] when I was at Newcastle and we felt he would take us forward, even then.
“He’s controlled Southampton’s back four – he’s just got that kind of presence.
“As a manager you look at some players and you feel confident in his character that he will deliver.”
Van Dijk is now said to be a £70 million target for Liverpool and has been capped 14 times by his country.
Newcastle eventually signed goalkeeper Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles from Nottingham Forest.