Virgil van Dijk will not be sold in the summer, says Southampton boss Claude Puel

Southampton boss Claude Puel insists sought-after defender Virgil van Dijk will still be at the club next season.

Dutch centre-half Van Dijk has been linked with a big-money move this summer, with Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool among the clubs rumoured to be interested.

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk

The 25-year-old, signed from Celtic for £13million (€15m) in 2015, has been sidelined since an ankle injury ended his season in January and Puel is adamant his defensive linchpin has not played his last game in a Saints shirt.

"It was a bad injury for him and for us," said Puel.

"Then after Jose Fonte left (for West Ham) it was difficult for us. It's been a good thing to see Jack Stephens and Maya Yoshida play together in their place. But for Virgil it was a bad injury.

"Now the surgery is finished he can work normally and be ready for next season - with us.

"He's our captain and I have said he is important for us. He has authority, the leadership of the team, he is a fantastic player.

Claude Puel
Claude Puel

"It's important for us, of course, to wait until the beginning of the season to see him on the pitch with Southampton.

"He has a long contract and the directors want to keep him."

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