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ROKER ROUNDUP: World’s most expensive defender was warned off Sunderland move by ex-Celtic boss

Before Virgil van Dijk - the world’s most expensive defender - landed at Liverpool he had the chance to join Sunderland, but his former boss at Celtic has admitted that he warned him off a move to Wearside as he was destined for bigger things.

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Van Dijk warned off Sunderland move

Virgil van Dijk became the most expensive defender in history when Liverpool signed him from Southampton for a fee of £75m last year, with former club Celtic getting 10% of that amount thanks to a sell-on clause.

The Dutch centre-back had been a target for Sunderland in the past - during his Groningen days and then when he was with the Scottish champions.

Celtic’s then manager Ronny Delia appeared on A Celtic State of Mind podcast this week to discuss his time managing the club and revealed that he warned van Dijk not to make a move to Sunderland (or Southampton) as he was already destined for the ‘biggest club’.

He wanted to go away, he wanted to make the next step and I was very hard on him.

I said ‘you shouldn’t go to Sunderland, Southampton or whatever, you should go to the biggest club because you have the potential to be there.’

But he didn’t believe me at the time. But one year in Southampton and he was already there.

He can maybe be the best central defender in the world. You can see the potential he has.

You can listen to the podcast HERE.

Netherlands v Peru - International Friendly Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Ross on filtering opinions

Jack Ross has taken time out of masterminding Sunderland’s resurgence to chat with The Coaches Voice about his thoughts on management.

Yesterday we featured a clip about Ross talking about his philosophy has changed since joining Sunderland from St Mirren and today the 42-year-old discusses how he retains his own opinions while seeking to improve through learning:

First of all, I think it’s that faith in how you work and trust in how you work, I think you develop that over a period of time and most of the top managers now I think would say that - that they have a belief in what they do.

And then on the flip side of that it’s about retaining a flexibility and an open-mindedness to take on information and advice from those that you believe are good at what they do.

Now that answer is very easy to say, doing it can be more difficult. Especially again, in periods where you're not winning.

You can watch the rest of his answer in the embedded Tweet below.

Gillingham v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Halloween Fright Night

The team are currently flying high in League One and the club have rewarded their efforts by sending them to Terror in the Trees 2.0 at Beamish Hall.

The likes of Max Power, Donald Love, Luke O’Nien, Adam Matthews and Chris Maguire all took part as they came up against the terrifying, slow moving living dead - no, not Lee Camp, John O’Shea and Darron Gibson - zombies!

Derby County v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Sunderland to feature on Mastermind

Sunderland are set to appear as a specialist subject on Friday’s edition of Mastermind on BBC2.

One of the contestants has chosen Sunderland AFC from 1945 to date as their specialist subject and you can see how they get on from tomorrow.

The episode will air Friday, 8pm on BBC Two or for UK residents via iPlayer HERE.

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A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report