Virgil van Dijk
Frank de Boer has urged Celtic's van Dijk to shun Arsenal move.Getty Images

Ajax coach Frank de Boer has urged Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk to fend off interest from Arsenal and Manchester United and stay in Scotland.

The Dutchman believes that it is too early for Dijk to make the move to the Premier League with a top club. He thinks the defender can learn his trade better in Scotland, while picking up trophies along the way.

Dijk will be the third choice in either club, which will restrict his game time and have an adverse impact on his development, which is of prime importance at this stage.

United have a plethora of defensive options at the back, with Chris Smalling, Marcus Rojo, Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair all capable of slotting into the middle. However, a barrage of injuries to key players has forced Louis van Gaal to turn to the market and earmark Van Dijk as a potential recruit.

Meanwhile, the story is somewhat different at Arsenal. The Gunners do not have the riches to sustain themselves, having only one central defender fit, as Laurent Koscielny is out with an Achilles problem.

Nacho Monreal has in the meantime slotted into the vacant spot, while Calum Chambers is deputising for an injured Mathieu Debuchy at right-back. Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he will sign a defender in January and has kept the Dutchman in his shortlist.

"When Virgil signed for Celtic, I knew he had everything to go on and be a top central defender, both in Scotland and in Europe," the Ajax coach said as quoted by Goal.com

"I thought he had the attributes to go on and become one of the best players in the SPL so it is no surprise to me that is exactly what he has done.

"It is also no surprise to me that he is being linked with clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United. They are both in the situation where they could use another top central defender and they are not easy to find.

"I am sure that he could be a success for any club in Europe but Celtic will know exactly what they have and no coach will ever want to sell in January.

"It is such a difficult window to sign players that you don't want to lose your best one during it.

"It would be good for him to win trophies in the SPL first before he thinks about anything else; it will all be a part of his education," he added.