Dedryck Boyata’s comments suggest Virgil van Dijk won’t leave Celtic

Dedryck Boyata is looking forward to playing with Southampton-linked Virgil van Dijk after joining Celtic from Manchester City.

Newly-signed Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata has told The Scottish Sun that he is looking forward to playing with Virgil van Dijk.

The Belgium international centre-back has joined the Scottish Premiership champions from Manchester City on a four-year contract, as reported by BBC Sport.

It has also been reported by BBC Sport that Celtic had to pay Premier League giants City a transfer fee of around £1.5 million.

Boyata, who is the Bhoys’ first signing of the summer transfer window, is relishing the prospect of playing alongside the highly-rated Dutchman Van Dijk.

“I saw Virgil play for Groningen when I was on loan at FC Twente,” the 24-year-old told The Scottish Sun. “I was also looking at Celtic last season to watch Jason (Denayer).

“I can see what type of player he is and he’s really good. I can’t say we’ll be a good partnership for fact just yet — but obviously I want that.

“The manager has told me that he can see something really good there and I believe him.”

Boyata’s comments suggests that Celtic manager Ronny Deila is confident that Van Dijk will not leave this summer.

The Norwegian seems to have used the Dutch centre-back to sell his idea to Boyata, and it appears that he sees the duo as his first-choice central defenders.

Premier League duo Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton are interested in 23-year-old Van Dijk, according to The Daily Mail.

Boyata will effectively replace compatriot Jason Denayer, who will return to City after a season-long loan spell at Celtic Park.

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