Celtic media round-up: Bhoys missed out on defender, Deila raves about summer signing

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Papy Djilobodji interest

Celtic could have signed Papy Djilobodji from Nantes in the summer transfer window, the defender’s advisor has told The Scottish Sun.

Djilobodji left French outfit Nantes to join Premier League champions Chelsea on transfer deadline day for a fee reported by The Scottish Sun to be worth as much as £4 million.

“Celtic made a genuine offer for Papy, but it presented two concerns,” the 26-year-old’s advisor, Mouhamed Gueye, told The Scottish Sun.

“It was firstly bound up with the sale of their central defender Van Dijk. Secondly, their offer was less interesting financially.”

Virgil van Dijk joined the Saints from Scottish Premiership champions Celtic on a five-year contract in the summer transfer window.

As a direct replacement for the Dutchman, Celtic recruited Jozo Simunovic from Dinamo Zagreb on transfer deadline day.

Praise for Jozo Simunovic

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has told The Scottish Sun that Simunovic will prove to be an able replacement for Van Dijk.

The 21-year-old is a Croatia Under-21 international and is highly rated and talented, with The Scottish Sun claiming that the Bhoys had to pay as much as £5.5m as transfer fee to secure his services.

“We see Simunovic as a big, big prospect," Deila told The Scottish Sun. “He’s the Croatia Under-21 captain, he has played big matches for Dinamo Zagreb but not every match all the time — and he’s still young. So this is a new Virgil van Dijk, someone we can build up to be like that.”

Virgil van Dijk worth

Deila has also said that Van Dijk would have been worth as much as £18m next summer had he remained at Celtic.

“The first year with Virgil, he was a bit up and down,” the Norwegian told The Scottish Sun. “At the end of that season, we could have sold him for maybe £7 or £8m. And then we kept him for one more year, suddenly he is worth £13m.

“I think if we could have kept Virgil for one more year, he could have gone for £18m. But we had no chance to keep him, he didn’t want to be here any more.”

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