Erik Sviatchenko: Celtic 'bigger than Premier League offers'

By Jonathan SutherlandBBC Scotland
Sviatchenko talks art and fashion

Erik Sviatchenko says he rejected moves to England, Italy and France to sign for Celtic.

The 24-year-old Denmark defender has secured a four-and-a-half-year contract with the Scottish champions after his £1.5m switch from Midtjylland.

Sviatchenko said: "I could have gone to Italy and the Championship and, last year, to the Premier League.

"I saw Celtic as a much bigger club than some of the Premier League clubs. Nothing compared to this huge club."

Sviatchenko will now miss out on two Europa League matches Midtjylland have coming up against Manchester United, but he insists he has no regrets.

"I am 24. I have to have a career that is beyond two games against United," said the centre-half, who has four caps for his country.

"I think we can face them in the Champions League in the future.

Erik Sviatchenko in Europa League action for Midtjylland
Sviatchenko played for Midtjylland in the Champions League and Europa League against Legia Warsaw

"I can see Celtic progress to the place they belong and that is in the Champions League."

Sviatchenko, who trained with his new team-mates on Monday, had been itching for a move away from his homeland.

"It means a lot," he said. "It means I am finally away from Denmark.

"It has been a long, tough way for me to get a contract in a foreign country."

Sviatchenko has attracted interest from various clubs around Europe but was delighted to receive an approach from the Glasgow club.

"When Celtic came, I could feel this was a very, very good decision for me," he added.

"It is a winning club. I won the championship in Denmark. I want to be remembered for winning."

However, he will have to wait for his Celtic debut as he will not feature in Tuesday's Scottish Premiership match against Hamilton Academical.