Ronny Deila has told his foreign star that they should consider staying at Celtic, develop as players and enjoy the Champions League.
Celtic have three players listed in the PFA Scotland Player of the Year Awards with Norwegian Stefan Johansen and Dutchman Virgil Van Dijk nominated for Player of the Year and the on loan Manchester City Belgian defender Jason Denayer being a strong favourite for the Young Player of the Year award.
Denayer will return to Manchester City in the summer for an evaluation and Deila is hopeful that he can secure the services of the talented young defender for another season at least.
Van Dijk has several years left on his contract at Celtic but has never really hid his preference for a move south of the border. Whether Celtic can persuade the player to stay on in Paradise for another season remains to be seem.
Johansen of the three seems the one most likely to be at Celtic for the foreseeable future as the player has indicated that he is happy to stay in Glasgow and continue to work with the manager who has helped him throughout his career both at Celtic and previously in Norway. Speaking after the three players were nominated for the PFA Scotland awards, the Celtic manager had this to say:
“I am proud of the boys. We keep telling them that they can become better players here. They can improve.
“I think we have seen that this season for all three players that have a chance to win the prize.
“They have been very consistent for us. You can develop, you can get better with Celtic.
“They are both still very young and they can keep getting better.
“There is a big prize for us if we can get into the Champions League.
“We know how difficult that is to do, but that is where all players want to play. We have the chance to be playing with the very best.
“We want to keep our players. We want to build a team and we want to have consistency in it.”
“We have played in so many games – in Europe, the league and the cups, and they have performed to a very good standard.
“It is a good reflection on us as a team that we have them in there for the awards at the end of the season, but I am sure they would also say that they have had a lot of help from their team-mates.
“Of course it is great that they have been recognised because they have been excellent for us throughout the campaign.”
Both Craig Gordon and Scott Brown could consider themselves to be unlucky to have missed out on the nominations this year.