Thursday 23 October 2014 12:41, UK
Jason Denayer is thoroughly enjoying a loan spell at Celtic, but hopes his long-term future lies at Manchester City.
The Belgian defender was added to the youth ranks at the Etihad Stadium in 2013, signing a contract through to 2016.
City spotted his potential early, with the 19-year-old being tipped for a bright future in the game.
His efforts at Celtic have helped to further his development with important competitive minutes, while earning recognition from the senior Belgium side.
Denayer admits he has benefited greatly from his time at Parkhead, but is reluctant to be drawn on the chances of him returning for a second spell in 2015/16 – with there a desire on his part to start making his mark at the reigning Premier League champions.
He said in the Daily Record: “I watched Manchester City play in the Champions League on Tuesday night and I want to be back there next season.
“But I don’t think about this too much. I prefer to think about the present at Celtic.
“I want to do well enough here to maybe play there. The loan move has already helped me a lot. I have played first team football and been called up to the national team.
“Being at Celtic has given me what I didn’t have at City.
“Reserve team football at Man City is good but it’s not the same as playing for a first team.
“In U21 football you play against young opponents. At Celtic, I am playing against men. But I still want to go back to England after my loan and try to be a success. That is my priority.”
For now, Denayer wants to take as much as possible from his time in Glasgow and the opportunity to work alongside another highly-rated centre-half in the form of Virigl van Dijk – a player he sees heading for England in the not too distant future.
He said of the Dutchman: “Virgial is great to play beside. He is a very good player and he is relaxed when he speaks to you.
“He can be a very good player. I expect him to play at a high level in England one day. How high? The highest.
“Playing beside Virgil helps my game. If I make a mistake, Virgil is there for me.”