Celtic manager Ronny Deila believes his current club are among the world's biggest, and that only the top-six in the English Premier League could claim a higher standing worldwide.
Deila was speaking ahead of tonight's crucial Champions League qualifier with Azerbaijani cracks Qarabag.
Make no mistake, Celtic are world renowned and boast a reasonably good European pedigree, however the only problem being is that financially they cannot compete due to the league they participate in; a problem the manager knows all too well.
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This issue can, and has caused disruption in the past, especially among the Parkhead faithful, but the Celtic manager has reassured fans that although they don't have the funds to compete with English clubs, people still know the difference between a 'big club', and that of one which only finance makes superior.
"But the clubs from six downwards in England, like Southampton, are not bigger than us. They have more money than us but they’re not bigger.” as reported by the Herald.
Van Dijk Saga
The Scandinavian had been prompted to respond to questioning surrounding his star-man and defensive stalwart, Virgil van Dijk.
Speculation has shrouded the Dutchman all summer, and recent reports have suggested that Ronald Koeman's Southampton have launched a bid in the region of £7 million.
However, when asked about this, the Celtic manager was rather bemused and perhaps even irked by these queries.
“I don’t think Virgil will lose any energy over this.
“We have good communication. We know what we want. This is a big game and he has played really well in recent games.
“There has been nothing we would consider at all. He is going to stay here through qualification as I have said all the time. I asked what it was (the fee mentioned). When £7 million was said, I said we would not consider it. That is not even close. There has been nothing yet.
“Will his situation change if we go out? I am not even thinking about that. We do not need to do anything. I don’t think about failure. I think about how to win. That’s the most important thing."
Although both Celtic and Deila, know that Van Dijk fancies a move south to the Premier League, they also believe he is worth far more than the figures being banded around at present.
At a time when money is no object - and far lesser players can go for heftier fees, the club and their manager are well within their rights to be patient with the situation they find themselves in.
Norwegian Deila then continued: “We know what they’re worth and again for me first of all it’s about creating a team and achieving things for Celtic. That is very positive that clubs are interested in our players, that means that we are doing something right. But we don’t think about that right now.
“My dream for Virgil and all the other players is to get into the Champions League, play good football in the Champions League, and show that they can perform at the highest level and then they can go to the biggest clubs in Europe if they’re going to go away from us - when that is a step up.