Celtic manager Ronny Delia admits that he will not be surprised if defender Virgil van Dijk is subject to interest from English clubs following his impressive performance this season.
The Dutch defender has been linked with a move to the Premier League in the past and was again linked with a move to Arsenal during the January transfer window.
Van Dijk has been in impressive form and furthered his reputation by scoring a brace for Celtic in their Scottish Cup game against the Hearts.
Arsene Wenger is facing a defensive crisis at his club and has indicated that he will add at least one defensive player during the upcoming transfer window and the former Groningen player has been earmarked as one of the players to ease the defensive frailties in the team.
Delia is not surprised at the interest garnered by the Dutch player, as he feels van Dijk is a fantastic footballer and will only get better.
"I'll not be surprised if there's more interest in Virgil. He's a fantastic footballer and is improving all of the time. He works hard in training and is more focused," Delia said, as quoted by the Express.
The Celtic manager is hoping that the defender stays, but if not he wants him to join one of the big European clubs and has guaranteed that the Hoops will only part with their player for if a club offer a big fee to sign him.
"He's going to be expensive, but he loves being here. I really hope he stays. That's the priority. But, if he's going, I hope it's to a big club, not an average Premier League team," The Celts boss explained.
"He has everything you need to do it at that level. But I hope we can keep him to challenge for the four competitions. That would be good for him, too."
"He's our player and we have a long contract, so I really hope we can keep him," Delia added.
However, the defender is calm regarding all the transfer speculation regarding a move to the Emirates Stadium and recently revealed that he is happy at Celtic Park and just wants to play regularly and not think of the future.