Virgil van Dijk admits Celtic did everything they could to keep him - and says he'll always be a Bhoy

The new Southampton signing has been discussing the Scottish champions.

Virgil van Dijk says he will always be a Celtic supporter despite moving to Premier League side Southampton, according to the Scottish Express.

And the 24-year-old Dutchman admits Celtic tried everything they could to keep him at Parkhead.

That should delight Bhoys fans despite the ultimate eventuality of Van Dijk leaving Celtic for the Saints. The defender himself says he appreciates the Hoops' efforts but insists he could not turn down a move to the South Coast. 

The new Southampton signing is quoted as saying by the Express: "Celtic did not want me to leave and wanted to extend my contract. The club did everything to keep me and I appreciate that but I felt the time was right for a new challenge in the English Premier League. I thank everyone at Celtic, the manager and all the staff.

"Celtic is a brilliant football club. It will always be in my heart and I will always be a Celtic supporter myself."

In the end, it was simply the lure of Premier League football that proved too much for Van Dijk.

The 24-year-old will likely be on a higher wage and will be traveling to the likes of Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and more on a regular basis. The one thing he has sacrificed is Europa League football, with Southampton having been knocked out of the competition last week.

But Celtic's elimination from the Champions League no doubt played its part in confirming the fact the Dutchman would leave Parkhead. Will he succeed at St Mary's?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch