The former Celtic centre-back has been linked with a number of Europe’s biggest clubs and revealed he hopes to ply his trade at the highest level possible

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has revealed he wants to play at the “highest level” as rumours of a January transfer intensify.

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The Netherlands international has been linked with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain, though Saints boss Claude Puel has ruled out selling the former Celtic man.

And though Van Dijk insists he is happy at St. Mary’s Stadium, he also wants to test himself at the highest level possible.

“Everyone says that at 25, the best years are still to come but I am enjoying every bit of it now,” he told The Times.

“Southampton is a very good club for me, it is an amazing place to be and I am happy to be part of the success.

“Every player in the world has ambitions; I have ambitions like everyone else. I want to get the maximum out of myself as a player. I can improve in every aspect and that takes time. That takes games. That takes playing at the highest level and with the national team.

“The figures you mention about me? I cannot do anything about that. That is football these days. But I don’t feel the pressure – no chance.”

Van Dijk has started every game for Southampton this season and is contracted to the club until June 2022.