Manager Expects £8m Arsenal Transfer Target To Remain Committed To Club

Celtic manager Ronny Delia has backed Virgin Van Dijk to show his commitment to the Scottish champions, despite significant reported interest from Arsenal towards the end of the summer transfer window, as reported by the Daily Express.

Van Dijk is also thought to have asked for a move away from Celtic after the club were eliminated from the Champions League in the qualifying stages, despite being given a second opportunity to qualify as a result of a registration problem from their opponents.

Arsenal were thought to be interested in the £8 million rated defender, who has also been the subject of interest from the likes of Sunderland, Newcastle United and Southampton.

Celtic boss Delia, who has come under criticism for the nature of the club’s exit from the Champions League, even dropped the player for their last match because of his mental state as a result of the speculation.

Having spoken to him, however, Delia is now convinced he will remain committed to the club, saying: “I have no concerns about his commitment. I can honestly say I’m really happy about language and he is happy. Now he is focused on getting good results with Celtic and getting better.

“I hope the supporters accept that as well. I understand they were not happy he didn’t play at Dundee, but that was my decision. Virgil was not 100 per cent in his head. But now he is.

“He has said to me that he is so grateful to be at this club. Without the chance to play for Celtic, he wouldn’t be where he is today. He saw an opportunity to leave, but then he didn’t go. He knows what he has here and he is looking forward to the rest of the season.

“He’s very happy now. He’s just become a dad and he’s been with his national team for the first time.

“He has to understand how important he is. He is such an unbelievably good player for us.”

Leeds United Target 19-Year-Old Chelsea Starlet – reports

Leeds United have been linked with a loan move for Chelsea youngster Lewis Baker, with the Elland Road club having sent scouts to watch the starlet in recent weeks, as reported by the Derby Telegraph.

Baker captained Chelsea’s Under-21 side last season, having been at the west London club since he was nine years old, and impressed considerably in the club’s academy.

The 19 year old midfielder has also played for the English national side at several youth levels, including up to the under-19s, where has scored nine goals in only 14 games.

Baker has even made his Chelsea debut, and played for the Blues when they beat Derby in the FA Cup last season.

Derby County are the other club who are interested in his signature, with Leeds’s Championship rivals looking to bring him in on loan.

Leeds travel to Birmingham City tomorrow, with Neil Redfearn continuing in his role as caretaker coach. He is being given an opportunity by Massimo Cellino to earn the position on a permanent basis.

Man City Departure Pans Current Manager For Lack Of Chances

Micah Richards, who moved to Fiorentina on loan from Manchester City this summer, has attacked the current incumbent City boss Manuel Pellegrini for a lack of opportunities since he arrived at the Etihad Stadium, as reported by The Independent.

Richards has said that he himself does not possess any ill feeling towards the club, but does resent the lack of playing time that he was afforded by Chilean manager Pellegrini.

The homegrown City star was previously a key part of the team, but lost his place to Pablo Zabaleta a few seasons ago. He went on to lose his role in the England national side as a result, and has seen his opportunities to play football limited in recent seasons, necessitating his loan move to Serie A side Fiorentina.

Richards himself is convinced that he had to make the move, having played so infrequently since Pellegrini took charge of Man City.

He said: “I don’t have any bad feelings towards the club. They put me on the map and gave me a chance when I was 17. But I do have bad feelings towards the playing time [I was given].

“For any player, when you’re not playing it’s frustrating. When Roberto Mancini was in charge, he would rotate the full-backs.

“When we won the league in 2012, I played more than (Pablo) Zabaleta. So, I feel as though I could have been given more chances to play [under Pellegrini].

“I felt like I had improved and that I could do it at that level.”