Martinez responds to reports suggesting Everton will bid for Celtic star Virgil van Dijk

Everton boss Roberto Martinez was coy over speculation linking him with a move for Celtic's Virgil van Dijk.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has told the Daily Mail that he is interested in signing a new defender - but wouldn't be drawn on whether he will target Virgil van Dijk.

The Toffees have brought in Tom Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu this summer, but having allowed Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz to leave the club on free transfers, Martinez may need another centre back.

That need could become even greater, with The Guardian reporting that Chelsea are poised to lodge another bid to sign Everton's 21-year-old defender John Stones. Should the 21-year-old leave Goodison Park, Martinez would need to find another partner for Phil Jagielka in the heart of his defence.

With that in mind, speculation from The Scottish Sun just days ago suggested that Martinez was prepared to pay £10m to land Celtic star Van Dijk, who has been a sensation in Scotland ever since his move from Groningen back in the summer of 2013.

Martinez was asked about his alleged interest by the Daily Mail, but responded by saying it would be 'disrespectful' to comment on Van Dijk given that he is a Celtic player.

"That's the nature of this period, you are going to be linked with players," said Martinez. "I don't enjoy talking about other players when they are not at our club and I will never be disrespectful in that manner."

"Our squad is not complete. We are still looking for two positions and we need to make sure they fit exactly in the group in the manner we want and expect as footballers and people. Central defence is one of those positions. Two experienced centre-halves left the squad, so we need to fill those gaps," he added.

Van Dijk has already shown many of the abilities that have made Stones so successful in the Premier League; at great reading of the game for his age and the ability to bring the ball out from the back are big facets of Van Dijk's game.

Alongside the more experienced Jagielka, Van Dijk would be able to develop gradually in the Premier League - and his displays in Scotland suggest that he could certainly make the step up to life in England.

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