Saturday 20 January 2018

Deila delight as 'amazing' transfer deals boost Bhoys

Celtic manager Ronny Deila is delighted that none of his top players, such as defender Virgil van Dijk, have been poached. Photo: REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Celtic manager Ronny Deila is delighted that none of his top players, such as defender Virgil van Dijk, have been poached. Photo: REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Jamie Holland

Ronny Deila has hailed Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell as "amazing" for his backing in the transfer window.

The Scottish champions spent a reported £2m on bringing in midfielder Stuart Armstrong and winger Gary Mackay-Steven from Dundee United on transfer deadline day, fast-forwarding the arrival of the latter who had signed a pre-contract agreement with the Parkhead side.

Midfielder Kris Commons then handed the Hoops a further boost by signing a new two-year deal at the behest of Deila, who was also delighted that none of his top players such as defender Virgil van Dijk had been poached.

Ahead of the Scottish Cup fifth-round tie against Dundee at Dens Park today, the Norwegian declared: "Peter has been amazing in this transfer window. We have the same goals. We got what we wanted. We wanted the two players from Dundee United; we got them.

"Kris Commons? I took the decision that he gets this contract and we went through with it. There is no problem to me giving him two years.

"I am so happy and, when I see the new boys in training, I see quality and see boys happy to come in. Two young, Scottish players who are hungry with a lot of skill. It has been a good week and we are in a good place just now."

Deila said that the inclusion of Armstrong and Mackay-Steven has already had an impact on his squad, albeit they are cup-tied for the Dundee game.

The former Stromsgodset boss - still basking in the satisfaction of the comfortable 2-0 Scottish League Cup semi-final win over rivals Rangers at Hampden last week - explained: "This week in training has been the best I have seen since I have been here.

"We have two players in every position and that can hopefully make the team stronger and hopefully get us better results. To get fresh blood into the squad is important."

Deila did not touch the Scottish Cup at the photocall at the club's Lennoxtown training complex, saying: "I learned that here. I will not do it. I have a good feeling but we have to do the hard work and stay focused.

"They can be legends if they can get the treble and I think a lot of them want it. It is going to be tough."

Celtic, meanwhile, have revealed a 30pc decrease in revenue and a reduction on profit before taxation of over £14m due in part to their failure to qualify for the Champions League.

The Parkhead club released the interim report for the six months to December 31, 2014 and, among key financial figures, revenue decreased by 30.1 per cent to £31.3m, from a figure of £44.8m the previous year.

Profit from trading of £3.2m is in stark contrast to £10.5m in 2013, while profit before tax is £6.6m - from £21.3m - with the club having £5.3m cash in the bank, down from £5.7m.

Celtic, infamously, failed in two attempts to reach the Champions League earlier in the season, but they have battled their way through to the last 32 of the Europa League where they play Italian side Inter Milan later this month.

Dundee v Celtic, live, Sky Sports 1, 12.30pm

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