De Boer urges Dutch defender to snub Arsenal and Manchester United for Celtic stay

Celtic

Ajax boss Frank de Boer has urged Celtic's Virgil van Dijk to reject Arsenal and Manchester United.

The January transfer window is fast approaching, and there can be no doubting that both Arsenal and Manchester United need to add centre backs to their squad.

Arsenal have been forced into using left back Nacho Monreal at centre back having failed to replace Thomas Vermaelen in the summer, whilst Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has been hit with an injury crisis at Old Trafford.

Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Marcos Rojo have all been ruled out through injury, leaving van Gaal to use Patrick McNair, Daley Blind and Michael Carrick at centre back - that's a reserve team player and two central midfielders.

As a result, he's been linked with a move to sign one of his fellow Dutchmen - Virgil van Dijk.

The Celtic star, 23, joined from FC Groningen in 2013, and his superb displays north of the border have triggered reported interest from Arsenal and United ahead of the January transfer window.

Now a member of the Dutch national team - ironically since van Gaal left the role for United - van Dijk is growing by the week, but Ajax boss Frank de Boer has urged him to stay at Celtic Park and learn his trade before making a big move.

"I thought he had the attributes to go on and become one of the best players in the SPL, so it is no surprise to me that is exactly what he has done," said de Boer.

"It is also no surprise to me that he is being linked with clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United. They are both in the situation where they could use another top central defender and they are not easy to find."

"I am sure that he could be a success for any club in Europe. It would be good for him to win trophies in the SPL first, before he thinks about anything else, it will all be a part of his education."

Van Dijk is generally valued in the £10m bracket, meaning he is certainly in budget for both Arsenal and United. Concerns may be raised over the level of football he's been playing at, but he's certainly impressed so far for the Hoops, and it seems like only a matter of time before he gets a big move elsewhere.

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