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Sunday 20 January 2019

Deila: Van Dijk is ready to resume career at Celtic

Virgil van Dijk has a smile back on his face after his dream move to the Premier League was blocked by Celtic, according to manager Ronny Deila.

The Parkhead boss did not think the Dutch defender was in the right frame of mind for the trip to Dundee the day before the transfer window closed after being informed he would be going nowhere despite reported interest from clubs such as Newcastle, Sunderland and Swansea.

The 23-year-old missed the 1-1 draw at Dens Park but Deila insists he has returned from his first call-up to Holland's senior squad "very happy" and ready to focus on his Hoops career, which will resume with the league visit of Aberdeen tomorrow.

"He was fantastic in training today," said Deila (above). "He is smiling. It is no problem.

"We speak all the time. People can wish for things but if you don't get your wishes sometimes you know how lucky you are to be in the situation you are in.

"He spoke about taking a new step in his career and thought that it was important but he also understands the situation at the club.

"He is at a very big club and he has opportunities to achieve here. I don't think that he needs to leave to play in the national team.

"He is one of the best players I have seen when he is at the top of his game.

"He just needs to be consistent and if he does that with Celtic I can't understand why he can't be picked for the national squad."

The former Stromsgodset boss revealed that the knee injury Charlie Mulgrew picked up playing for Scotland against Germany in Dortmund on Sunday "could take some time" to heal.

However, he hopes skipper Scott Brown could make his first appearance of the season against the Pittodrie men.

The Hoops boss has not been able to call upon the services of the Scotland midfielder after he injured a hamstring in a pre-season friendly against Rapid Vienna and thus described him as akin to a "new signing".

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