RONNY DEILA has refused to confirm or deny that Dundee United duo Nadir Ciftci and John Souttar are on his summer shopping list.
Celtic splashed £2million to sign Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven from the Tannadice outfit during the January transfer window.
Now they have been linked with a return to Tayside for 23-year-old Turkish striker Ciftci and 18-year-old defender Souttar.
However, Deila, preparing for Friday’s home game against Dundee, realised there were reverberations among a sector of United fans and the board after the loss of Armstrong and Mackay-Steven and there could be a follow-on effect.
He said: “It is just rumours, I don’t want to comment on any names. We have our targets, we work on things and when it is clear we will tell you.
“I can understand they are upset, but they have to see it as a big honour that they are producing players that other clubs want.
“And if there are more players that we want, or anybody else wants, new stars will again come in their clubs. It is always tough for smaller clubs to lose players, but they also bring a lot of money into the club.”
Asked directly about United being under pressure not to sell to the Hoops again, the Norwegian replied: “It is up to them.
“I think they know what price they want for the players and they have to think if they need money or not. But I don’t think too much about that.”
Celtic are eight points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the Premiership and will clinch their fourth successive title if they beat Dundee and the Dons fail to beat United on Saturday, by which time Deila will be back in Norway for the confirmation of his twin teenage daughters.
He said: “I am going to have a Confirmation with my kids. I am happy for the fixtures, that we are playing Friday.
“I didn’t think I could make it, but now I can go home to Norway on Saturday morning to be there when they are Confirmed. I will be back on Monday.”
Deila added: “If we win and Aberdeen lose points then we will win it on the Saturday and that is the most important thing.
“It is a very important game on Friday and I hope that we make it a big occasion and a memorable night.
“We will do everything to prepare ourselves to have a really good performance as it is a very important game to finish this off.”
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