Virgil van Dijk dismisses talk of move to England

CELTIC defender Virgil van Dijk has poured cold water on rumours linking him with a summer move to the English Premier League.

Virgil van Dijk in action against St Mirren. Picture: Robert Perry

The player’s agent suggested back in March that he was expecting the highly-regarded Dutch centre half to move to England during the close season.

Henk-Maarten Chin said at the time: “There is certainly interest. Many English clubs are interested in him – the absolute top clubs. They watch him and are very keen. There has been no official approaches for Virgil yet, but that will come after the season ends.”

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Chin added that the intention was for the 22-year-old to earn a ‘top transfer’ - but van Dijk told Sky Sports: “I don’t know anything about it. 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 joined the Hoops from Groningen last summer for around £2.6 million, and has consistently impressed with a string of fine performances in the Champions League and the Scottish Premiership.

World Cup snub

Drawn on his exclusion from the Dutch national team’s provisional World Cup squad, van Dijk was pragmatic: “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.

“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,” van Dijk explained.

And the Dutch stopper added: “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.”