Delia ready to raid Tannadice for summer recruits
Celtic boss confirms Souttar and Ciftci on his summer list
Celtic boss Ronny Deila refused to deny Dundee United duo John Souttar and Nadir Ciftci are on his summer shopping list but insists the Tannadice club have to consider any interest in their players as a "big honour."
The Hoops signed midfielder Stuart Armstrong and winger Gary Mackay-Steven from the Taysiders in the mid-season transfer window but the combined fee of around £2million was not enough to prevent some rancour between the United support and the board.
Mindful of the fact that the Tannadice side have won only one Scottish Premiership game since then, assistant Simon Donnelly admitted that pressure not to sell anyone else to Celtic was "always going to be there".
However, reports claim Deila is considering going back for 18-year-old defender Souttar and 23-year-old striker Ciftci.
At the Lennoxtown press conference ahead of the home match against Dundee tomorrow night, when the names of Souttar and Ciftci were put to him, the Parkhead manager said: "It is just rumours, I don't want to comment on any names.
"We have our targets, we work on things, and when it is clear we will tell you. I can understand they are upset but they have to see it as a big honour that they are producing players that other clubs want.
"And if there are more players that we want, or anybody else wants, new stars will again come in their clubs.
"It is always tough for smaller clubs to lose players but they also bring a lot of money into the club.
"They can reinvest and build the club further and the small clubs need to do that more than the bigger clubs.
"But we also do the same, so every club has that decision to make."
Asked directly about United perhaps being under pressure not to sell to Celtic again, the former Stromsgodset boss replied: "It is up to them.
"I think they know what price they want for the players and they have to think if they need money or not.
"But I don't think too much about that."
Celtic moved eight points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the table with a 3-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice on Sunday.
The Hoops will clinch their fourth successive title if they beat Dundee and the Dons fail to beat United on Saturday, by which time Deila will be back in Norway for the confirmation of his twin teenage daughters. "I didn't think I could make it but now I can go home to Norway on Saturday morning to be there when they are confirmed," he said.