Are Deila's Van Dijk comments sending a direct message to Southampton?

Ronny Deila

The Celtic head coach has been discussing the reported Southampton target's future.

Celtic boss Ronny Deila says he hopes Virgil van Dijk will remain at Parkhead - but has revealed that there are several clubs interested in signing the Dutch defender, according to Sky Sports.

Indeed, Southampton have been heavily linked with the centre-back of late but the Celtic head coach says it isn't just a matter of dealing with one side.

Deila told reporters: "From a coach's perspective, we want to keep Virgil because he is a good player. There is interest in him, there has been more than one club interested."

According to Sky Bet, Southampton are still odds-on favourites to sign the 24-year-old, with the Daily Mail recently suggesting the Celtic man is on the verge of moving to St Mary's.

But Deila's comments suggest things aren't so straightforward. And the Norwegian could well be tactically aiming a message towards Southampton - that they shouldn't take anything for granted.

Other clubs have indeed been linked with Van Dijk so far this summer and, unless the Bhoys boss is simply using poker strategies, his quotes suggest other clubs are still in the running.

At the same time, of course, there is the possibility of the Dutchman staying at Celtic, however slim it may be. For the Saints, though, complacency could be their biggest rival when it comes to signing the 24-year-old.

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