Virgil van Dijk is on the radars of three Premier League teams, but the Dutchman has been told he must stay at Celtic Park as the Scottish champions appear to be wobbling under Ronny Deila, according to reports in the English press.
The defender has been targeted by Newcastle United, Sunderland and Southampton, and it is believed that the player would prefer a transfer into the Premier League. However, Celtic have been knocked out of the Champions’ League during the qualifying stages, and have yet to appear convincing in the domestic league, prompting Deila to block the exit of his star player.
Van Dijk was left out of the weekend’s one-one draw with Dundee, prompting speculation that he was on the brink of leaving the club. However, Deila insists that the decision to drop him from the squad was based around the player’s personal circumstances, and nothing else. ‘He didn’t play because his girlfriend is due to give birth,’ said the Celtic manager, ‘so he wouldn’t have been 100 per cent focused.’
Deila went on to confirm his stance on the possibility of selling Van Dijk, and it is not encouraging for those teams looking to purchase him. ‘He is too important to us,’ said Deila of Van Dijk, ‘We couldn’t replace him,’ concluded the manager. The door looks to have been shut on any moves for Van Dijk, meaning that The Magpies, The Black Cats and Saints will have to search elsewhere.