Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk has told the Scottish press how he has been learning from Manchester United striker Robin van Persie while on international duty with the Netherlands national team.
The 23-year-old centre-back has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, with Arsenal and Manchester United said to be among the possible destinations.
A stunning debut campaign with the Bhoys last season attracted the attentions of a number of top European sides and the general consensus is that he is ready to move on to a bigger club.
The £8 million-rated star would certainly be a good addition for the Red Devils due to their current crisis in defence, and his links with Dutch coach Louis van Gaal would certainly help matters.
Van Dijk has already had a glimpse of what it would be like to come up against top strikers on a regular basis as he faced United scorer Robin van Persie recently on international duty.
When asked about challenging the likes of Van Persie and Arjen Robben in training, the defender admits to learning a lot and hopes the experience will stand him in good stead for the future.
“It was good to go away on international duty,” he is quoted as saying by Videocelts.com. “It is a great experience as you learn a lot. Hopefully I will get my chance for Holland soon but that is up to the coach.
“I just need to keep playing well for Celtic and we will see what happens. I come up against the likes of van Persie and Robben in training, they are experienced players and good guys too. You learn so much from them and I have a lot of respect for both guys.”
Van Dijk has represented the Scottish outfit 63 times since joining the club from Groningen for a reported bargain £2.6 million fee.
Many observers believe that it is only a matter of time before he moves on and he is expected to become the subject of a number of bids during the January transfer window.