Deila wants to keep Celtic star Van Dijk

RONNY DEILA has brushed off speculation linking Virgil van Dijk with a move to Southampton this summer.

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Virgil van Dijk has attracted interest
Virgil van Dijk has attracted interest

New Saints boss Ronald Koeman is reportedly lining up a bid for the Dutch defender and could test Celtic's resolve with a multi-million pound bid.

The 22-year-old was a stand-out for the champions in his first season at Parkhead and Deila is determined to keep him at the club.

He said: "I hope in the future that all our players are the subject of rumours like that. Because that will mean we are doing well at Celtic.

"That's what I have been used to at Stromsgodset. When we were doing well, every player was linked to different clubs. Everyone wanted my players and that is one of the reasons I am Celtic manager as well.

"I know it is only rumours just now. The day something comes to the office and it is real, then we can talk about it.

"But I want to keep Virgil because he is a fantastic player. He is a very important player for us to go into the Champions League with. I will do everything I can to keep him."

With Celtic's first Champions League qualifier just weeks away, Deila has little time to fine-tune his squad.

He made his first signing as Hoops boss with the appointment of John Collins as assistant manager this week and is happy to bide his time before delving into the transfer market.

He said: "Of course, we have talked about new signings. We have John Park, who has been at the club for many years. Now we also have John Collins, who has seen the current squad many, many times and who knows Scottish football.

"So we have our ideas, but I would really like to meet the players first and see them in training. Because we see different things sometimes.

"I just need to have the feeling that with this player or that player I can do better. When I have that feeling, then things can happen [with new signings]. I don't think going back to Stromsgodset for players will happen."

One man who could make a move to Parkhead this summer is keeper Craig Gordon.

The former Scotland star has been monitored by the Hoops staff, but Deila is in no rush to strike a deal. He said: "It is still going on. The medical staff are saying he can handle the training now. That's important if he is going to go back to the same level, or maybe even better, than before.

"That seems good, but I have to talk with Craig first. I haven't done that yet. Craig could be at the club as well as Fraser Forster - of course they can be here together."

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