Copenhagen defender Nicolai Boilesen is optimistic that he will be back playing in one of Europe’s biggest leagues come the start of the season.
The 26-year-old broke into the professional game at Ajax, but after falling out of favour with the Eredivisie giants due to his refusal to sign a new contract, resulting in a year frozen out of the game, he has bounced back in his native country.
Such has been the quality of his return, he has been called into the extended Denmark panel for the World Cup and is expected to be named in the final squad after operating as both a left-back and a centre-back this season.
“I have heard a bit about interest from different clubs from both Ligue 1 and Premier League,” he confirmed to Goal. “I also saw stories about Galatasaray in media, but to be honest, I have no idea if it is just a very vague interest or something more substantial.
“It is always flattering, when you hear about interest from big clubs and the biggest leagues. But I am not the best source for these transfer stories, since I don’t hear anything until it is 100 per cent concrete. It is all with my agent.
“My only focus is football - and right now it is all about finishing the season well with Copenhagen and then the World Cup.”
In the longer term, though, he is seeking a move.
“No doubt my ambition is to get back to the bigger leagues in Europe,” he admitted. “I don’t know whether it will be this summer or later, but I went through my football education in Ajax and with the Denmark team, and I feel that I belong in that international level.
“I am back at my best, which I believe is proved by the fact that I was back in the Denmark national team for the internationals in March against Panama and Chile. I was a regular before my ‘Ajax punishment’ with one year in the deep freezer for not extending my contract, and I have missed the national team like crazy. There is nothing bigger in football than representing your country.
Personally, he sees the season as a success, having played more than 40 times for Copenhagen, who made good progress in Europe.
“I am 26 now and enjoying being 100% fit. I got the taste of top-level football in the Europa League, where we lost to a top-class team like Atletico Madrid in the knockout rounds,” he said. “They were really, really good, and after facing them I was sure, that they would go on to win the trophy – as they did in great style.
“For Copenhagen the season has been a sort of a transition phase and the results a bit disappointing. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but it feels strange not to win any titles, not only for this club but also for me personally. I have been used to a winning feeling; with Ajax I won four league titles and then last season I won the double with Copehagen."
“I believe that the Denmark squad has a great potential in Russia, and we definitely have the quality of players to advance from the group. Then it’s the knockout stage, and anything can happen,” he said. “Our current team is unbeaten for 13 games in a row, and that is a national record for 110 years of the national team. It has never happened before, and that shows the winning mentality of this team.”