Celtic manager Ronny Deila admits that he is resigned to losing the club’s best talent as soon as the Premier League shows an interest in one of his players.
The Norwegian coach saw defender Virgil van Dijk become the third Hoops player in as many seasons to leave the club to join Southampton on deadline day following on from the departures of Victor Wanyama in 2013 and Fraser Forster one year later.
The Bhoys have also seen the likes of Adam Matthews, Joe Ledley and Gary Hooper move south of the border in recent times and the 39-year-old admits that the club cannot compete with the financial muscle of the English top flight.
Deila said: “I’m used to it. You have to understand what kind of club you’re coming to – and what kind of club I was at before, as well. Now, it’s about the level and it’s about money, those two things.”
The former Stromsgodset boss does however believe that the departures can benefit the Celts, who are forging a strong reputation for developing good players into potential stars of the future.
He continued: “I don’t think the money we got for Virgil is the biggest ever. I think we can get higher. In the future, we can do that, as long as we progress all the players we have. Now, we’re starting to get a reputation – if you go to Celtic, you can get better and better, then get sold to a bigger club.”
The Glasgow giants return to European action on Thursday following their disappointing exit in the Champions League play-off round at the hands of Malmo last month.
The Scottish champions travel to Amsterdam to take on Ajax in the Europa League group stage and they are available at 4.20 to begin the campaign with a victory, whilst the Dutch side are on offer at 1.83 and the draw is at 3.50.