Ronny Deila says he advised Virgil van Dijk to join Manchester United

Keylor Navas of Real Madrid attempts to punch the ball away while under pressure from Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Liverpool...

Virgil van Dijk moved to Liverpool in January.

Andrea Belotti (R) of Italy competes for the ball with Virgil Van Dijk of Netherlands during the International Friendly match between Italy and Netherlands at Allianz Stadium on June 4,...

Former Celtic manager Ronny Deila has been quoted as saying by The Scottish Sun that he suggested to Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk that he should leave the Hoops for Manchester United or Manchester City, not for Southampton or Sunderland.

Van Dijk was on the books of Scottish Premiership side Celtic from the summer of 2013 until the summer of 2015 when he moved to Southampton in the Premier League for a transfer fee reported by BBC Sport to be worth £13 million.

The Netherlands international central defender was a massive success at the Saints and joined Liverpool in the January transfer window for a fee reported by The Guardian to be worth £75 million.

Former Celtic manager Deila, who worked with the 26-year-old centre-back at Celtic Park during the 2014-15 season and is now in charge of Valerenga, has revealed that he advised him to move to Manchester United or Manchester City, not to Southampton or Sunderland.

Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool walks past the trophy dejected after the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Liverpool at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on May 26, 2018 in Kiev,...

The Scottish Sun quotes Deila as saying: “Virgil was special. When I came in, I don’t think he was really fit. In training he was lazy. I told him he needed to work on being at 100 per cent every day.

“I said to him after that year when he was ready, ‘You are not going to go to Sunderland or Southampton — you go straight to Man City or Man United’. That’s how good he was and I told City that. I think they regret not signing him now.”

Sadio Mane of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his sides first goal with Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Liverpool at NSC...

Success at Liverpool

Van Dijk is one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League, and the Dutchman has been superb for the Reds since his move in the January transfer window.

Both United and City would have been better teams with the Dutchman, but the Red Devils and the Citizens seem to have done well without the former Celtic star so far.

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