Ronny Deila pleads with Virgil van Dijk to stay at Celtic despite transfer speculation

Ronny Deila believes Virgil van Dijk can still improve at Celtic.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has told the club's official Twitter account that he wants defender Virgil van Dijk to stay at the club.

Van Dijk, 23, joined Celtic from Groningen back in 2013, and has established himself as the best centre back in Scottish football in almost two years at Celtic Park.

The towering defender has not only impressed with his reading of the game in the Celtic back line, but also his contributions in the final third, having scored 15 goals for the club in just over 100 games - an impressive record for a centre back.

Yet, as is often the case with Celtic's top players - such as Fraser Forster and Victor Wanyama in recent years - van Dijk has been strongly linked with a move away from Glasgow.

The Daily Mail recently reported that Southampton have joined Arsenal, Everton and Sunderland in the race to sign van Dijk, with Premier League interest mounting.

With aspirations of playing for the Netherlands national team on a regular basis, van Dijk may need to move on to bigger things - and a move to the Premier League would certainly help him achieve that.

However, Celtic will naturally want to keep their star defender, and manager Deila has made a plea to the Dutchman to stay at Celtic Park, suggesting that he can still improve with the Bhoys rather than move on somewhere else this summer.

With Jason Denayer also set to move on at the end of his loan spell from Manchester City this summer, Deila won't want to be without his star defenders - but will know that there is a strong possibility that the duo will be playing elsewhere next season.

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