By Will Butcher

Celtic defender Josip Simunovic has dismissed as “nonsense” the possibility that a move to Serie A side Torino is on the horizon.

Sky Italy journalist Gianluca di Marzio had claimed on his website that the Croatian defender was being lined up as a replacement for Nikola Maksimovic, who is on the verge of a £20million transfer to Napoli.

In quotes published by the Daily Record, the former Dinamo Zagreb centre-back revealed that his focus lies purely with the Scottish Champions.

“Italian reports are nonsense,” Simunovic said. “I have absolutely no indication about a potential departure for Torino. In fact, I think only about Celtic.”

Celtic’s number 5 joined the Scottish champions from Dinamo Zagreb last summer for £6million, but he hasn’t played since January due to a serious knee injury.

To the delight of Hoops fans, the defender did reveal though that he will return to training in a matter of days.

“Next week I finally join the team, and after a long injury return to normal training.”

The 22-year-old played 18 times in the first half of the 2015-16 season for Celtic and earned high praise as the club began their bid for a fifth consecutive title.

Having won the Scottish Premiership last season, they are now bidding for their six straight title but face stiff competition with Rangers returning to the top flight.

The Croatian, who has represented his country from under-14 to under-21 level, could partner new signing Kolo Toure at centre-back in the near future. Manager Brendan Rodgers has also signed Moussa Dembele, Kristoffer Ajer and Scott Sinclair.

In other Celtic transfer news, this former Nottingham Forest goalkeeper could be on his way to Celtic Park.