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Van Dijk future in Celts hands warns Lennon

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Picture credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Picture credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Picture credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

NEIL LENNON has told Virgil van Dijk's agent not to get too presumptuous about the possibility of the Dutch defender departing Celtic at the end of the season.

Henk-Maarten Chin claimed the 22-year-old, a top performer since his move from FC Groningen last summer, could be on his way to England.

He was quoted as saying, "There has been no official approaches for Virgil yet, but that will come after the season ends."

The Hoops boss confirmed Celtic had withdrawn their appeal of Van Dijk's red card picked up against Aberdeen which leaves him sidelined for the Premiership clash with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park tonight.

However, not only does he expect to have him back in the side next week, he insisted it will be down to Celtic as to whether the former Holland U21 will still be in his squad next season.

Lennon said: "I was disappointed with the timing of it and I think Virgil was disappointed too because he had no idea that it was coming.

"It is a bit premature. He is on a three-year contract here. I would guard against that.

"He is one of our best players, we don't need to sell. So whether they want to go or not, it will be down to us to make that decision."

Lennon also admitted his concern about Tony Watt, whose loan spell at Lierse SK took another twist when the striker complained about manager Stanley Menzo, with whom he has had a fractious relationship since moving to Belgium.

Watt said: "Whenever we lose I get the blame, and they always say I do things wrong. At Ostend last month, I just played for 20 minutes, yet Menzo blamed me."

The former Celtic skipper said: "It is a bit of a worry. It is not the way we want our young players to deal with certain situations."


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