By Harvey Byrne
Celtic are set to miss out on a seven-figure transfer windfall after Southampton manager Claude Puel told reporters he believes star defender Virgil van Dijk will be in a Saints shirt next season, according to a report.
It was also believed that that Chelsea were confident that they had won the race for the signature of Van Dijk with £55million the believed figure.
However, manager Puel has since told reporters on Monday that the Southampton directors are hoping to keep hold of the 25-year-old and the Scottish Sun have now reported that Celtic are set to miss out on a £5million windfall.
“It was a bad injury,” told Puel in his pre-match press conference on Monday afternoon, as quoted by the Sky Sports website.
“But now it’s okay. The surgery is finished, he can work normally, he can start the gym work and rehab to come back for next season….and with us.
“He is our captain. He is important for us. He is a fantastic player. We will wait until the beginning of the season to see him again on the pitch. He has a long contract and I think the directors want to keep him”.
Van Dijk left Celtic for a reported £13million transfer to Southampton in the summer of 2015 and he has since become one of the Premier League’s most sought after centre-backs.
However, after having signed a deal taking him up to 2022 with the Saints last May his future may remain at the Hampshire-based club for the foreseeable, meaning the Hoops may have to wait a while longer before netting their sell on fee.
In other Celtic transfer news, a player the Hoops have watched is poised to quit English club this summer.