Celtic: Ronny Deila confident Virgil van Dijk will remain at club

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk's composed displays in the Celtic defence, and his goalscoring threat, are bound to attract interest from clubs over the summer

Double-winning manager Ronny Deila believes Virgil van Dijk will aim to help Celtic secure Champions League football next season.

The Dutch defender, 23, has been linked with a move in the summer with a host of clubs reportedly interested in his services.

"He is going to be here. He is not going anywhere before the qualifiers," the Norwegian told BBC Radio Scotland.

"Hopefully he is going to be here for a long, long time."

Deila, whose daughters brought the Premiership trophy onto the pitch to be presented to Celtic after their 5-0 hammering of Inverness CT continued: "You never know in football but he is going to be here for the qualifiers."

Van Dijk joined Celtic two years ago for £2.6m from FC Groningen on a four-year deal. He scored 10 goals in 58 appearances this season.

Celtic will be seeded when, again, they enter the Champions League draw at the second of four qualifying rounds.

Deila, after losing to Maribor in the final play-off round last August, is determined to experience the Champions League proper next season.

Ronny Deila and John Collins
Ronny Deila and John Collins led Celtic to the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish League Cup in their season in charge

"It is very hard but we will do everything in our power to make that now," he said.

"We want to improve, we want to keep our players and get new players in that can strengthen us. Consistency is so important in the way we play.

"We have a good foundation to build on and the supporters are a part of that. This stadium is nothing without the supporters. We are going to do this together.

"This is what football is all about, winning trophies and exciting people. The togetherness we're feeling in the stadium is giving me so much energy.

"We have fought hard this season and have done very well. We are getting better and better. I am very happy and I am so excited for the future."

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