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Monday 26 September 2016

Ronny Deila: Celtic is the right place for Stefan Johansen

Deila believes midfielder should stay put at Celtic

Stefan Johansen celebrates with teammates
Stefan Johansen celebrates with teammates

Celtic manager Ronny Deila feels Stefan Johansen knows his career is best served by staying in Glasgow despite reports linking him with a move to Germany.

Reports in the midfielder's native Norway claim several clubs in the Bundesliga and English Premier League are interested in making a summer move for the player.

Deila, whose side host Kilmarnock tonight, coached Johansen at Stromsgodset and believes the 24-year-old would benefit from continuing to improve at Parkhead.

Johansen has struck 12 goals this season and become a key player for Deila. When quizzed about the reported interest, Deila said: "That's new for me but the Norwegian press is very good at talking up players so they can continue with that.

"Stefan has a big potential, and he knows what it's all about now, it's to perform all the time at Celtic.

"He has only been at Celtic for less than a year and a half. He was at Stromsgodset for three years before he moved on.

"One thing he does well is he's starting to be a leader on the pitch. I think he can improve more here, he hasn't been in the Champions League yet and he can play in more European cup games so Celtic is still the right place for him.

"He's a player I want to build a future around, one of them, and that's why I'm not so very interested in talking about a move to Germany or Italy or whatever it is.

moving

"When you enjoy a place and enjoy being there a lot of players have to think about why they are good there, why am I enjoying it, because that's more important than fighting for the big money all the time and always moving on.

Celtic can open up an eight-point gap on second-placed Aberdeen when they host Killie and Deila has urged his players to enjoy the run-in as they continue to chase the treble.

"We have worked so hard now for so many months to get to this position and we have to really enjoy it," he said.

"It's a big, big opportunity and we are going into some very important games. I have real confidence in my players."

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