Celtic's Arsenal linked defender Virgil van Dijk admits happiness at rumours

The Dutch defender has been linked with a long list of Premier League clubs.

Arsenal have been one of many teams linked with a move for Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk in recent months, now the player has spoken about that interest to Dutch paper De Telegraaf.

The 23-year-old was discussing his career so far when he stated:

"It's [Van Dijk's time at Celtic] gone awfully quickly.

"I have recently been thinking a bit about it [his career]. I am now 23 and have played at Willem II, FC Groningen and Celtic and am now linked to clubs like Arsenal. Isn't that great?"

Arsenal have struggled with defensive options all season. Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are the clubs only recognised central defensive options, while Calum Chambers can also do a job there. But this season has seen Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal cover in centrally when injuries and suspensions have hit Arsenal.

So Van Dijk would obviously be a good target.

Recently the defender commented on the reported interest in his signature. The Daily Record quoted him as saying he had 'no problem' if he had to stay a 'bit longer' at Celtic.

But in the interview with De Telegraaf he has made it clear that while he appreciates Celtic's views, if a club from England comes in with a big offer, he would be hoping to make his way out of the club:

"There are a lot of clubs interested, but Celtic is holding on to a big transfer fee. The club is clear: they don't want to let me go in the winter, because we're playing for four trophies.

"I understand the point of view from the club and I see it as a compliment that they don't want to let me go. But we have to be realistic. If there's a nice club from England, we have to talk. I want to develop myself as a player, that's for sure."

Arsenal are not alone in hunting Van Dijk. Sunderland, Everton and Southampton have also been mentioned as interested parties in the race to sign this 23-year-old talent north of the border.

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