Ronny Deila comments on Malmo game being Virgil van Dijk’s last for Celtic

Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk is wanted by Southampton.

Van Dijk has been wanted by a number of Premier League sides for the entire summer, and Ronny Deila has discussed with the Daily Record whether the Champions League tie with Malmo will be his last game for the club.

Deila said: “I wouldn’t say that [he will leave after this game]. We’re in control and he’s a Celtic player who still has a long contract here. I hope we can have him longer than these European games.”

The Bhoys are fielding offers from Southampton concerning the sale of Van Dijk, as per Sky Sports, and it is expected that the Dutch defender will move to St Mary’s before the transfer window closes at the end of this month.

However, it is believed that any transfer also relies upon Celtic’s progression in the Champions League, with the two ties against Malmo vital to the Bhoys getting into the group stages of Europe’s premier competition.

Deila does not believe that Van Dijk will leave after the European games, but it could be that a poor set of results speeds up his exit from Parkhead.

It is pretty much the allure of Champions League football that is keeping the 24-year-old with the club, and if they once again drop out at the qualifying rounds, Van Dijk will likely want to move to the increased exposure of the Premier League.

It is not expected that Van Dijk remains with the Bhoys for much longer, and the only chance they have of keeping him this season will be if they secure passage to the group stages of the Champions League by defeating Malmo.

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