John Kennedy comments on Celtic duo Virgil van Dijk and Aleksandar Tonev

Celtic FC Fans

Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk has been linked with Premier League trio Sunderland, Everton and West Bromwich Albion.

Celtic first-team coach John Kennedy has played down speculation that Virgil van Dijk will leave this month.

The defender has been linked with a move away from the Scottish champions in the January transfer window following his impressive performance this season.

Speculation on the future of Van Dijk has been there for months, with Premier League giants Arsenal initially reported to be interested in him.

Recent reports suggest that Sunderland, Everton and West Bromwich Albon are keen on the Dutch centre-back.

However, Kennedy insisted that Celtic have no plans of selling Van Dijk and told Sky Sports: "It's speculation and that has been the case all season, we got it in the summer with a lot of speculation about Virgil.

“With our top players, we expect the same every time the window opens but until something is firm and concrete, it's just rumours but he is a massive player for us. You see the quality he brings.”

Meanwhile, Kennedy has confirmed that Aleksandar Tonev will be given playing time during Celtic’s winter training trip to Gran Canaria.

The 24-year-old Bulgaria international winger is currently serving a seven-match ban handed by the Scottish FA for racially abusing Aberdeen defender Shay Logan.

Tonev, who is currently on loan at Celtic from Aston Villa, will feature in games against PSV Eindhoven and Sparta Prague.

"He's part of our squad albeit he's serving a suspension just now,” STV quotes Kennedy as saying.

”If he's eligible to play in these games then we'll certainly look to use him for fitness and to keep him going. The training time will be very important for him at this stage.”

Celtic are currently second in the Scottish Premiership table with 42 points from 19 matches, just a point behind leaders Aberdeen but with a game in hand.

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