Transfer news: Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk plays down links with Premier League move and focuses on Champions League run

Van Dijk's agent was quoted as claiming 'absolute top clubs' were looking to sign the 22-year-old

Virgil van Dijk claims he knows nothing of interest from English clubs and is keen to prove himself in the Champions League with Celtic.

The 22-year-old's agent was last month quoted as saying some "absolute top clubs" in England had shown interest in the defender and that official approaches would come in the summer.

But the Dutchman played down the prospect of a summer move after being named on the PFA Scotland Premiership player of the year award.

Van Dijk, who joined Celtic on a £2.6million switch from Groningen last summer, said: "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."

 

While van Dijk's performances have attracted accolades from his fellow professionals, international recognition has not been forthcoming.

The former Holland Under-21 international has never been selected for a full squad, and was left out of a 33-man pool for a March friendly against France.

Van Dijk admits his chances of going to Brazil for the World Cup are slim but he is hopeful he can improve his standing next season, when Guus Hiddink will replace Louis van Gaal as Holland boss.

He said: "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.

"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."

PA

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