Dutchman going nowhere…
Celtic manager Ronny Deila is confident that he’ll keep hold of towering centre-half Virgil van Dijk, despite interest from Premier League clubs such as Liverpool, Arsenal and Sunderland, reports the Mirror.
The 23-year-old Dutch stopper has been superb in Scotland, and his technical attributes combined with his physicality have earned the overtures of cubs south of the border, including us.
We have a number of centre-backs at the club already, but none (barring perhaps Kolo Toure) have especially covered themselves in glory this term.
It appears that if our interest in van Dijk is real though, it’ll be tough to get him…
Asked about whether he thought his Dutch star would leave in January, Deila said: “No. He’s very happy. I have spoken with him and we are very happy to keep him as well. He’s a top player.
“For me Virgil’s developing now and taking steps all the time which is very important. I am so happy to have him.
“He is enjoying his football, playing well. That’s positive. He is such an important player for us.”
Van Dijk prides himself on being both positionally and aerially exceptional – and it’s no surprise that Arsenal are also eyeing him considering their current defensive frailties.
Celtic keeper Craig Gordon also weighed in with huge praise for the enormous central defender…
“He can do everything as a centre-half – he is quick, a good passer and can score goals,” the 31-year-old said.
“I have never played with any centre-half with the kind of football ability he has.
“We managed to keep a hold of him in the summer and if we can do that again I would be happy.
“Keeping Virgil is almost like a new signing every transfer window for us.
“We expect the same level of interest in him as before, maybe even higher.
“That’s just what happens if you get good players in and they do well. I don’t think that it will affect him or the team.”
So, Reds; would you be happy if we moved for van Dijk, considering we spent £20m on Dejan Lovren in the summer, and a combined fee of £25m on Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori in 2013…?