Updated: Monday, 01 September 2014 09:42 | By Agence France-Presse

No players leaving Celtic, insists Deila

Celtic manager Ronny Deila insists no more players will be leaving the club as speculation continues to surround the future of certain members of his squad.


No players leaving Celtic, insists Deila

Celtic player Virgil Van Dijk (R) takes part in a training session at the Lennoxtown Training facility near Glasgow on October 21, 2013 - by Ian Macnicol

The Hoops boss had added fuel to the fire when he left Virgil van Dijk out of his squad that could only manage a 1-1 draw with newly-promoted Dundee in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday.

The Dutch defender joined the club from Groningen last year and was Celtic's player of the year last season as they strolled to the title.

But van Dijk was frustrated to miss out on a place in the Netherlands squad for the World Cup in the summer and has been linked with moves away from Celtic Park following the Glasgow giants' exit from the Champions League.

However, Norwegian manager Deila said the defender's omission from the squad was not an indication of his imminent departure.

"He is going to stay here and that's the most important thing," said Deila.

"Virgil is an important player and that's why we want to keep him here. He's a top-class player.

"There has been a lot of speculation and his head has been thinking a lot. He also has a pregnant girlfriend so he was not 100 per cent focused.

"Of course we missed him today but that was not the big problem. I think the young boys did good but you can't expect too much from young players. It's not them who will be leading the team but I think Dundee didn't have too many chances."

Leigh Griffiths, who came off the bench to grab the equaliser at Dens Park after James McPake had headed Dundee in front in the first minute, has been the subject of a recent rebuffed loan bid from former club Hibernian.

Rumours also continue to circulate about the long-term future of Irish forward Anthony Stokes, with Serbian striker Stefan Scepovic close to signing on at Celtic Park.

But Deila, who has already lost English international 'keeper Fraser Forster to Southampton and striker Tony Watt to Standard Liege this summer, is adamant that there will be no more players heading for the exit before the transfer window closes on Monday.

- Too much speculation -

"We are not going to lose any player now. I have the final say on this," the Celtic manager insisted.

"I think we have to bring everyone together now. There is too much speculation but we hope to get it out the way now. 

"Monday is the last day and we are going to get the players we want to get in and we're going to work to improve and get the results we want.

"We need a very big and strong squad. We want to make this squad stronger. We're going to play a lot of matches.

"We're starting to get a bigger and stronger group and that's what it takes to make our goals this season."

Celtic now head into the international break sitting in a lowly fifth position in the league table six points behind leaders Inverness Caledonian Thistle, albeit with a game in hand.

It was a fourth successive match without a win for the Scottish champions and heaps the pressure on Deila just two months into his Celtic career.

Deila has enjoyed a torrid time in Scotland so far as the Glasgow giants failed to make the group stage of the Champions League, despite being given a second chance after Legia Warsaw were thrown out of the competition for fielding a suspended player in their tie.

However, the Norwegian insists he will continue to work hard to improve the team and indicated he may further strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes. 

"There will maybe be more people coming in the last two days," Deila said.

"I think we will only get started after this window closes and we know what group we have to work with. We will get competition into the team and new blood and that is important."

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn