Manchester City and United target told he can't leave - by his girlfriend

Manchester City and United could be disappointed in the efforts to sign Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk – by his girlfriend.

The Dutchman only moved to Celtic in the summer in a switch from Eredivisie side Groningen, but his impressive displays north of the border have attracted the interest of the two big Manchester clubs, as well as Arsenal.

With national team recognition almost certainly on van Dijk's mind, a move to the Premier League would increase his chances of breaking into Louis van Gaal's side – yet despite this, his girlfriend is having none of it.

Rike Nooitgedagt came to the British Isles with her boyfriend in 2013, and has settled so well in Glasgow that it appears she doesn't want to leave.

When I was in Holland, they talked about the ‘Celtic Family’ and now I know what they mean.” said Nooitgedagt. “We had a couple nights out and I enjoyed it a lot. They are very nice and make me very welcome in Glasgow.”

I worked as a sales manager and sold different fashion-brands to the stores in Holland. I loved it but it was busy and hard work. The Celtic fans are amazing, the sound they make is unreal.”

I think Celtic is a very good club, the people are very friendly and helpful. Most of the people I meet understand how it is to live in an other country, so they help me a lot,” she added.

At the end of the day, van Dijk has to do what is best for his career, and it's unlikely that he would turn down moves to Arsenal, City or United in order to stay in Scotland because his girlfriend likes it there. The physically dominant 22-year-old should still be in the frame for a move to the Premier League despite Rike's comments, and with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand poised to leave Old Trafford, Manchester United should be at the front of the queue for van Dijk, who possesses outstanding technical ability despite his size.

image: © celticphotos

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch