Deila keen to get Denayer back
Published 01/04/2015 | 15:56
Celtic manager Ronny Deila will try to persuade Jason Denayer and Manchester City to extend the centre-back's loan deal next season - but Hearts captain Danny Wilson is also among his defensive targets.
Denayer made his full international debut in Belgium's 1-0 European Championship qualifying victory in Israel on Tuesday night, coming on as a substitute after Vincent Kompany was sent off.
The 19-year-old also faces competition from Kompany at City, and Deila would welcome another season-long loan arrangement.
But, with Denayer due to spend pre-season with his parent club in a bid to prove himself, there is no guarantee he will return, and certainly not in time for Celtic's Champions League qualifying campaign beginning in mid-July.
So Deila confirmed he would look to sign a centre-back and responded to reports that former Rangers player Wilson was among his list of potential targets.
"That is one of many names we are talking about but there is nothing serious in that," Deila said. "But he's a good player."
Deila, who spent last week watching Norway training before their 5-1 defeat in Croatia, added: "Jason is going back to Manchester City after the season to have a pre-season and we will see if we can get him back or not. That is something we want, but we have to co-operate with City.
"But I think it's good for him to stay here because hopefully we will get Champions League qualification and that will make him even more experienced.
"Jason is ambitious - he wants to play at the highest level he can. But it's playing that is the most important thing, and playing at Manchester City is very, very hard. If not, I think Celtic is a good club for him."
Celtic were involved in another loan deal this week when 18-year-old midfielder Liam Henderson joined Rosenborg until the summer. Henderson has made 22 first-team appearances, but competition has increased recently with the signings of Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven.
"Rosenborg called me and asked if we had a midfielder that could be available and Liam Henderson is a very, very talented player and he needs games," Deila said.
"This was a good move for him. We have a lot of options in midfield and he can play until July 1 and get as much experience as possible. It's a big club as well - the biggest club in Norway, high expectations there. This will give him more experience as a player and a person.
"He was quite keen and that's what good about Liam - he is so ambitious. He really wants to play and develop all the time.
"He saw this as a very good move for him and I made it quite clear that it's not as if I don't want him - it's just because I think it's good for his development. If I was selfish, I would keep him here."
When asked if more Scottish players should experience playing abroad, Deila said: "Abroad or not, I'm not sure what is best, but you have to learn a different culture, different ways of playing football, which is positive, and also learning a language and getting away from a safe environment.
"They are positive things but the most important thing is to get experience on the pitch."
Deila is hoping to get all of his players back fit from international duty ahead of their Scottish Premiership clash at St Mirren Park on Friday night, but Charlie Mulgrew (hamstring tendon) and Mikael Lustig (ankle) are still missing.
"Charlie is progressing, the same with Lustig, but the two injuries are very hard to get right," Deila said.
"Things are going in the right direction but we have to be patient because if we start too early they will have the same injury again and we will be another two or three months.
"We will not take any risks but hopefully they will be available before the end of the season. Charlie is training half the session but still a long way to get 100 per cent."