The former Hoops manager, who’s now accountable for New York City FC, urged these on the Etihad Stadium to sign the Dutchman earlier than he left Scotland
Manchester City passed up the chance to land Virgil van Dijk when the exit door opened at Celtic, with former Hoops boos Ronny Deila revealing that his transfer recommendation fell on deaf ears.
The Dutch centre-half first starred on British soil throughout a productive two-year stint at Parkhead. His potential was rapidly famous by these within the Premier League, with a swap to England solely changing into a matter of time.
Southampton finally gained that race, however solely after these on the Etihad Stadium had been sounded out.
Van Dijk would register on City’s radar two-and-a-half years later, however as soon as once more they missed out on his signature as a record-breaking £75 million ($92m) transfer to Liverpool was accomplished.
He may have been a longtime star in Manchester by then, however present New York City boss Deila noticed his suggestion waved away.
The Norwegian tactician instructed Si Ferry’s Open Goal: “Did I get in contact with City? Yes. I stated you might have to take him. They stated, ‘okay, inform me the most effective European recreation he has performed and we are going to watch it’.
“I could not inform them what recreation that was as a result of he hadn’t had any actual good European video games. He was actually dominant in Scotland however he received despatched off towards Inter away.
“That was an enormous take a look at. I believe if he had performed fantastically in that recreation, he would have been purchased.
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“I think the big clubs think Scottish football is too low level and they don’t want to take a chance on a player for that kind of money. In Europe, then you can show how good you are. I think van Dijk was good, but he didn’t have that one really, really good game in Europe.”
Van Dijk has greater than proved himself on that stage since, with Liverpool helped to Champions League glory in 2019. The Reds have additionally received their palms on the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup, whereas opening up a 25-point lead on the prime of the Premier League desk.
Van Dijk, who’s now captain of his nation, has develop into a talismanic presence for Jurgen Klopp and is broadly thought of to be the most effective centre-half on the planet.