Van Dijk: I'm staying at Celtic

VIRGIL VAN DIJK today declared that he still has unfinished business at Celtic - despite speculation linking him with an imminent move down to England.

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Virgil van Dijk is in no rush to move away from Parkhead
Virgil van Dijk is in no rush to move away from Parkhead

Van Dijk has been nominated for the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award after some superb displays for the Hoops this season.

The 22-year-old Dutch centre-half has been tipped to join a Barclays Premier League club during the close season as a result of his consistent form.

His agent, Henk-Maarten Chin, caused controversy last month when he claimed his client had been attracting the attention of several clubs down south and was poised to depart. However, the defender, who signed for £2.6million from Eredivisie club FC Groningen last year, is under contract with the Scottish champions until 2017.

And he stressed that he is keen to do better with Celtic in the League Cup, Scottish Cup and the Champions League during the 2014/15 campaign.

Van Dijk said: "I definitely have a lot that I want to achieve here. We were disappointed in the cups and in the Champions League this season.

"We want to do it much better next season. That is what I want so we will see what happens.

"I don't know anything about a move.

"I am under contract until 2017 I think. So I don't have to move. The possibility to play in the Champions League is a big thing for every player and I am no different."

He added: "I am very honoured to be nominated for the Player of the Year award along with so many great players.

"I am surprised my first season in Scotland went so well.

"I felt it would take me more time to settle in to the British style of football which is different to the European style I had been used to playing back home."

Despite his fine individual performances for Celtic this season, Van Dijk has been overlooked for the Dutch squad ahead of the World Cup in Brazil this summer.

But the former Netherlands Under-21 player feels starring for Celtic in the Champions League group stage next season can boost his chances of getting called up by his country, if indeed they can get there.

He said: "I would hope that playing in the Champions League with Celtic in the future would help to propel me into my national squad.

"If you play well there more people see you across Europe and it gives you a bigger chance of being part of the Dutch squad in the future.

"It was a disappointment not to get called up to the squad.

"But I am over it now after a couple of games and obviously I hope that they do well in the World Cup.

"The Champions League is a really good competition to play in to get recognition from your country and hopefully that will be the case for me."

Van Dijk has been nominated for the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award along with two if his fellow Celtic players - forward Kris Commons and goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

The centre-back - who revealed he had nominated his friend, Dundee United star Nadir Ciftci for the award - was unsurprised that Forster, who could be on his way to Brazil with England, had been short-listed.

He said: "Fraser is a very good goalkeeper and has deserved to get his chance in the England squad.

"He deserves to be nominated for this award as well.

"He achieved the Scottish shut-out record so he deserves his success. I think he is maybe one of the best goalkeepers in the world at the moment. He is a great guy to have as a team-mate as well."

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