Virgil van Dijk could help fund Celtic’s move to land Patrick Roberts on a permanent deal.

The former Hoops defender has told Liverpool they are his preferred choice of club as the Dutch defender looks to quit Southampton – and bag Celtic a tidy windfall in the process.

The 25-year-old was also wanted by Chelsea and Manchester City but it emerged last night that Liverpool were favourites to land Van Dijk in a staggering deal that is believed to be worth around £60m.

Celtic have a 10% sell-on clause from their sale of Van Dijk to Southampton two years ago meaning that an additional £6m of revenue could be available to Brendan Rodgers.

Read more: Tom Boyd: Moussa Dembele better off at Celtic than AC MilanGlasgow Times: Celtic's Patrick Roberts hold up a shirt in support of Kieran Tierney at the final whistle. Picture: SNS

Talks between the player’s representative, Liverpool and City are expected to take place over the coming days but with betting firms suspending deals on the player going to Anfield, it seems certain that he will be playing his football on Merseyside next season.

Liverpool will make Van Dijk not only their record signing but also their highest paid player if the £200k a week deal goes through.

The final destination is an irrelevance for Celtic, though. It is the player’s sell-on clause that will bank the Parkhead side further funds and with Rodgers keen to secure Roberts on a permanent deal after a successful 18 months in Glasgow, the news of Van Dijk’s switch is timely.

Celtic had offered £5m for Roberts but City are believed to be looking for a higher fee as they seek to recoup their initial outlay for the player. They agreed a £12m fee for Fulham for Roberts although with £8m up front and the rest add-ons that are not believed to have been met, there is a suggestion that the gap could be negotiated.

Pep Guardiola is expected to have a clear-out at City this summer with up to 12 players set to make the move elsewhere.

Read more: Tom Boyd: Moussa Dembele better off at Celtic than AC Milan

Roberts became a favourite of the Celtic support in the year-and-half he spent at the club with the England ubnder-20 internationalist playing his part in the club’s invincible season.

With Guardiola under pressure to mount a challenge to Chelsea this coming season there will be money spent at City, but a host of players will also move on.

Meanwhile, Kieran Tierney will wear a protective gum shield this weekend as Scotland play England at Hampden.

The full-back sustained a bloodied mouth in the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Aberdeen when he was caught by the arm of Jayden Stockley.

The teenager was quick to declare himself fit for action for Gordon Strachan’s side but the injury will require some protection.