Southampton have no need to sell Virgil van Dijk, says Claude Puel
By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 23/12/16 7:09pm
Southampton boss Claude Puel insists the club have no need to cash in on Virgil van Dijk in the January transfer window.
The Dutch defender has been linked with a move to several Premier League sides, with Manchester City now reportedly weighing up a £50m bid for the 25-year-old.
That would represent a huge profit on the £13m Saints paid Celtic for Van Dijk in 2015 but, despite the south coast club having form for selling star players in recent years, Puel says they have no need to offload a player who signed a new six-year contract at St Mary's in May.
"I think, for example, for Virgil the price will be the same in two or three years," Puel said. "He can stay for two or three years with us. He's an important player for the team.
"Also, along with Jose Fonte and Steven Davis, he is a captain of the team. He has a good personality, strong character, quality, and of course he will stay with us."
Southampton welcome Tottenham and former boss Mauricio Pochettino to St Mary's on December 28, live on Sky Sports 1 HD, with Puel's side looking to build on their recent 3-1 win over Bournemouth.
With Saints currently seventh in the Premier League, Puel admits he is eyeing another tilt at the Europa League at the very least.
"Of course we would like another season with the possibility to play those games," he added.
"It's very interesting and different from the Premier League. We were unlucky with our European campaign this season and want to find other possibilities to play those games, and the best possibility is via the Premier League.
"It's a good challenge for us. We know now all the opponents in the Premier League and if we can play against these teams at a good level then we have the chance to stay ambitious in the second half of the season."