Ronny Deila responds to Southampton's reported interest in Virgil van Dijk, denies bid

Celtic Stands

Ronny Deila says Southampton have yet to make a bid for Virgil van Dijk.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has told BBC Sport that Southampton have not made a bid for defender Virgil van Dijk, amid recent speculation surrounding their interest.

Van Dijk, 24, has been a star for Celtic ever since joining from FC Groningen in 2013, and he has established himself as one of the most in-demand defenders in Europe.

Many had expected Van Dijk to move on to the Premier League this summer, but the Bhoys have so far managed to keep their star player as we enter the final month of the transfer window.

However, speculation continues to surround the player's future. Reports from the Daily Express suggested that Southampton had lodged a £7m bid for van Dijk, as they look to fill the gap left by Toby Alderweireld's move to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this summer.

However, Deila has laughed off the rumours, telling BBC Sport that the Saints have yet to make a bid for Van Dijk, before suggesting that Southampton do not need to sell the defender.

"They haven't bid. He is a top, top international player," said Deila. "We want to make this big club a success and we need the best players and he is one of them."

"We don't need to sell him. It's a day before a very important game. I'm impressed with Virgil, he is very focused, he is happy and he really wants to play in the Champions League with Celtic," he added.

Deila's assertion that Van Dijk is a 'top international player' is interesting, as whilst he has proven his quality in Europe and is wanted by clubs across the world, he has yet to be capped by the Netherlands at senior level.

Given his displays for Celtic, Van Dijk deserves a chance to shine on the international stage, and Deila no doubt meant that the defender is of international-level quality - something Southampton will no doubt be aware of as he searches for another centre back.

In fact, the alleged £7m bid surely wouldn't even be enough to tempt Celtic into a sale, with Van Dijk worth at least £10m based on his displays in Scotland; even if he isn't an international player just yet.

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