Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk plays down exit rumours

Celtic F.C. centre-back Virgil van Dijk has rubbished reports linking him with a summer move to the English Premier League.

Celtic F.C. centre-back Virgil van Dijk has rubbished reports linking him with a summer move to the English Premier League.

The former Holland youth international, 22, has been attracting interest from a host of ‘top’ English clubs in recent times, according to the player’s agent, and could move abroad in the summer.

Van Dijk, who joined Celtic from Dutch Eredivisie side FC Groningen for £2.6 million last summer, has been terrific for the Scottish champions this term and was named to the shortlist for the PFA Sotland Premiership Player of the Year earlier this week.

Despite reports linking Van Dijk with a summer exit from Parkhead, the 22-year-old defender wants to stay in Glasgow for the promise of UEFA Champions League football, and rightfully so.

“I don’t know anything about it,” said Van Dijk. “First of all I have a contract until 2017 I think, so I don’t have to move, and I think the Champions League is always a big thing for every player. I want to play Champions League.

“We disappointed this season in the cup and the Champions League and we want to do much better next year. That’s what I want as well.”

Van Dijk, who believes that plying his trade in the Scottish Premier League has negatively impacted his chances of breaking into the Holland squad, was not included in Louis van Gaal’s Holland squad for the international friendly against France last month.

He is subsequently unlikely to be named to the Dutch squad for this summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.

“It was a disappointment a couple of weeks ago but I’m over it and I hope they do well in the World Cup, if I’m not there or if I am there,” added the 22-year-old.

“The Scottish Premiership is not so highly rated by European people but it is a good competition. So you have to play in the Champions League to get some more recognition.

“If you play well in the Champions League then more people can see you. You can have a bigger chance to play in the Dutch squad.

“I don’t know how they rate players or how they choose the squad or what the procedure is.

“But I think if you’re good enough you need to be in the squad. I think I’m not good enough for the squad right now – otherwise I would be in it.”

Holland are best-priced at 33/1 to win the 2014 World Cup.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn Etemadi


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