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.
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.
"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."