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Celtic boss Ronny Deila warns off Virgil van Dijk suitors

Saints continue to get linked to the Dutch defender. But, Celtic's manager is standing firm.

Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has warned clubs off from attempting to prize away central defender Virgil van Dijk away from Parkhead.

Southampton have been linked to the towering Dutchman since the summer transfer window opened in July. Despite taking QPR centre-half Steven Caulker on loan, the press believe Saints are still keen to add to their backline.

Considering the South Coast club's defence has looked shaky so far in the opening stanza of the 2015-16 season, as well as losing Florin Gardos to injury and failing to secure the permanent deal for Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld, they may have a point.

However, Saints boss Ronald Koeman, among other Premier League managers, has been warned off by Deila as media speculation mounts.

Deila said: "The situation is the same, we want him to stay.

"We don't need to sell him, but everybody knows that Virgil has ambition and we know there is interest in him.

"So far nothing is agreed and he is a Celtic player."

Van Dijk himself stoked the press speculation after admitting he was uncertain as to where his footballing future lies following Celtic's loss against Malmo on Wednesday.