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Van Dijk ruled out of Elfsborg ties

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virgil van dijkVirgil van Dijk will miss Celtic’s Champions League qualifiers against Elfsborg.

The defender was injured during the pre-season trip to Germany with scans revealing a small fracture in his foot.

At £2.5m the former Groningen defender looked likely to be a certain starter for Neil Lennon’s side but will now sit out the matches that will decide whether Celtic will play in European football this season.

Celtic face the Swedes on July 30/31 and August 6/7 with Lennon revealing: “He has with a slight fracture in his foot so it will be two to three weeks anyway.”

Van Dijk’s injury was cushioned slightly by the news that Steve Mouykolo is ready to start his hoops career.

The former Wolves and Hull City defender impressed Lennon enough during pre-season to be offered a 12 month deal.

Mouykolo’s career has been hampered by injury in recent years but after impressing Lennon and his coaching team he has the opportunity to get his career back in track.

“I’d like to stay here for much longer than one year,” the defender said. “I want to feel good, enjoy my football, please the fans, the manager, the club. I’ve moved a lot between clubs and I’m at an age where I want stability.

“Celtic had looked at me before and tried to sign me on loan from Wolves but at the time they didn’t want me to go.

“I had other options over the summer but Celtic had invited me to spend time with them at the end of last season and then asked me back at the start of this one. I told my agent to make them the priority.

“I’ve been with Celtic for over a month and a half and I’ll need to be patient and see what the manager wants from me.

“However, I feel good and I feel fit. I was injured for a long time, more than a year, but now I have signed for Celtic and that is a big step for me. I am pleased to finally get the deal done. It’s a relief because I have been with the club since June 20.

“The biggest reason I have come to Celtic is that I have the trust of the manager. That is really important to me. I like to work in a trustful relationship. I’m really grateful to him for bringing me here. I have the chance to play football again and that was my main goal.”

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