Speaking to The Daily Record, former Celtic boss Neil Lennon has revealed that plenty of clubs considered Virgil van Dijk during his time at Parkhead, but many had "embarrassing" reservations about the fact he had only dazzled in Scotland.
The Netherlands centre-back joined Liverpool in a £75 million deal in January and on Saturday will contest a Champions League final against Real Madrid in Kiev.
The 26-year-old has come a very long way since Lennon snapped him up for Celtic at a cost of around £2.3 million [The Record] in 2013 and Hoops fans will surely be rooting him for against the reigning European champions.
Lennon claims that he knew from day one that the former Groningen stalwart - sold to Southampton in 2015 - was an "absolute superstar" and couldn't believe why so many clubs were reluctant to sign him on the basis that he was "playing in Scotland".
“It’s embarrassing. I received phone calls from big clubs about Van Dijk on a number of occasions and could not believe what they were waiting on," he told The Record.
“Southampton did the right thing. They came in and completed the business. It was an absolute no-brainer, but because of this ‘playing in Scotland’ nonsense …
“It was so apparent from day one the guy was going to be an absolute superstar but I suppose they used to cast doubt over Henrik Larsson and he eventually went on to Barcelona."
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