sport

Van Dijk staying with Celtic

Celtic manager Ronny Deila insists defender Virgil van Dijk will not be leaving the club before the transfer window closes on Monday night.

Van Dijk has been linked with several English Premier League clubs in the past week and did not play in the 1-1 draw with Dundee at Dens Park on Sunday due to family issues.

But while Deila confirmed that van Dijk has been unsettled at Celtic Park, he revealed the centre-back has been informed he will be staying put.

"He is a very important player for us and we have told him that there is no chance he is going to leave," Deila said.

'He is too important to us, so there is no chance we will let him go during this window. We couldn't replace him.

"We talked about it. He wishes to get to a new stage. He is a young player and a young man and he will get many chances in his career.

"But now we need him here and he knows that and that is how it is going to be.

"His girlfriend is also pregnant and due soon. So he hasn't had the right focus, he wouldn't have been 100 per cent today - that is why he didn't play."

Asked how van Dijk took the news, Deila said: "I think it's no problem. But he needs a couple of days to get this out of his system, get thinking positively again."

Deila remains confident Celtic will sign 24-year-old Serbian striker Stefan Scepovic from Sporting Gijon in the next 24 hours.

"We hope that that can be arranged," Deila said. "He wants to play for Celtic. That's a good start. The process is ongoing."

Meanwhile, the Hoops manager is adamant Leigh Griffiths, who scored the equaliser at Dens Park to cancel out James McPake's first minute opener, will also remain at Celtic Park.

Deila added: "Leigh Griffiths is going to stay as well."