Southampton still hopeful of landing Celtic's Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk
Image: Virgil van Dijk is of interest to Southampton as they look for a new centre-half

Southampton remain interested in making Celtic's Virgil van Dijk their new centre-half, according to Sky sources.

It is believed any potential deal hinges on whether Celtic qualify for the Champions League, which the Scottish club believe will put them in a stronger position to convince the Dutch defender to stay.

Ronny Deila’s side face Sweden’s champions Malmo FF in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier in Glasgow next week.

Southampton’s captain Jose Fonte said after their 2-2 draw at Newcastle on Saturday that Van Dijk - a former Netherlands U21 international - would be a high-quality addition to the team.

He said: "I know he's a good player. If he comes he'll be welcomed like every other player that comes in this club.

Virgil van Dijk: Celtic defender has been linked with several clubs in the media
Image: Van Dijk would add quality to Southampton's squad, says Saints defender Jose Fonte

"He'll add quality to the team and even more competition at the back, so it will be interesting.”

Celtic boss Deila has previously stated his determination to keep Van Dijk, however.

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The Norwegian, speaking ahead of their previous qualifying fixture against Azerbaijani side Qarabag earlier this month, said: “We don't need to sell him.

Andy Walker doesn't expect Champions League football to tempt Celtic's Virgil Van Dijk to stay at the club

“We want to have him here and Virgil is very focused, happy and really wants to play Champions League with Celtic.

“Seven million? You think we would say yes to that? They haven't bid. He is a top international player and everyone knows that.

“We want to reach the Champions League. We want to make this big club be successful, we need the best players and he is one of them.”

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