Ronny Deila, the new Celtic manager, has promised to make Virgil van Dijk a better player if the Dutchman stays at the club next season.
Deila echoed the plea to Van Dijk by chief executive Peter Lawwell, who has urged the 22-year-old to stay for another season and develop his game by playing again in the Champions League. Van Dijk arrived from Groningen only a year ago for £2.5m but, after an excellent first season in Scotland, his value has at least tripled.
A move may not be Van Dijk's immediate priority after lurid tabloid allegations about his private life yesterday, but Celtic's only concern is his long-term commitment to the club. He signed a four-year contract, notionally tying him to Celtic until 2017, but inevitably would be tempted if richer clubs make offers.
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Deila would be powerless if Van Dijk decides to advance his career by moving but the Norwegian insisted he could improve the central defender's game if he gets the time to work with him in training and matches. "What I get energy from is developing teams, individuals and myself," said Deila. "When you do that well, you win trophies. I can develop Van Dijk here as well.
"I have one thought in my head: I have to get the best out of my players and my staff and myself. If we do that, why should we be bad? We are going to have a good season.
"Of course I know you will look at results. I look at development too. Both are important. If you get the development then you get results. There are two ways to go: to buy players or to develop them. Celtic is a big club and we need to develop players to European standard."
Deila is expected to meet with Celtic chief scout John Park this week for a thorough discussion on summer transfer targets.
He is also likely to appoint an assistant manager, with John Collins, the former Hibernian manager, the frontrunner to provide experience of the Scottish scene.