Filip Benkovic has confirmed to Sportske Novosti that he does not intend on staying with Celtic for the long term.
Benkovic joined Celtic on a season-long loan last summer, shortly after completing a £13 million move to Leicester City [Sky Sports].
The Croatian centre-back has been a revelation at Parkhead and many Hoops fans have been calling for a permanent transfer.
The 21-year-old hinted last month [The Scottish Sun] that he planned to stay at Leicester next season, but now he has effectively confirmed the blow for Celtic.
He told Sportske Novosti:“I want to make another step at the end of the season. I want to show that I can play in the English Premier League."
The big defender, who is injured at the moment, only turns 22 in July, and Benkovic admits that he has a ways to go before he's the finished article.
“I want to emphasise that I still have to make progress. I can still do a lot of work on my game to be an even more complete player, I just need to work.
“I cannot wait for new challenges, I want more challenges, I set very high goals. I'll do absolutely everything to reach them.”
In an ideal world, Celtic would sign Benkovic as a long-term replacement for Dedryck Boyata, who's out of contract in Glasgow in June, but it looks like Brendan Rodgers will have two stalwarts to replace during the summer transfer window.