Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Ricky van Wolfswinkel has scored 18 goals in 39 appearances for Sporting Lisbon in his debut season Reuters

Sporting Lisbon striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who has been linked to Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle United, has admitted he does favour a move to the Premier League. The 23 year old Dutchman has scored 18 goals in 39 appearances for Sporting in all competitions in his debut season for the Portuguese club, after moving to Lisbon from Dutch side FC Utrech.

Now, van Wolfswinkel says he is interested in a move to England, even though he has recently signed a five-year contract with the Lisbon club.

"I know that a lot of Dutch players play in England. It's a really good competition and I do see it as a step up," Goal.com quoted the Dutchman as saying.

"It's a step to take maybe in the future, but we will see about that when it happens. If someone comes along and wants to pay a lot of money to the club and to me, then maybe we would speak about that. But we would both have to be happy about it," he added.

The player, who made his national team debut for the Netherlands 2010, did also admit that he would find it difficult to make it to national team manager Bert van Marwijk's plans and squad for the 2012 European Championships, given the tough competition for a spot in the Oranje's strike force.

With Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Arsenal's Robin van Persie piling up 74 goals between them so far this season, it is unlikely van Wolfswinkel will get a chance to represent his country this summer.

"We have really good strikers so I am not sure that I can get into the squad for the European Championship. That is not really realistic for me. But I am really young and to be honest that is not my priority at the moment," the forward said.

Pundits and fans had earlier criticised van Wolfswinkel for his decision to leave the Dutch league for the Portuguese Liga last summer but the player feels it was a step in the right direction.

"The level of the teams is higher [than in Netherlands] and I think that makes it a stronger competition for sure," the striker added.

If United do manage to sign van Wolfswinkel, he could follow in the footsteps of Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Lisbon for Sir Alex Ferguson's side in 2003.