Puel rules out Van Dijk exit

Updated: 

Southampton manager Claude Puel insists defender Virgil van Dijk will remain at the club despite being linked with a January move.

Van Dijk, 25, is reportedly a target for Manchester City, who are looking to bolster their defence in the New Year.

But Puel has no plans to allow Van Dijk, a 12-time Netherlands international, to leave.

"For Virgil, the price would be the same in two or three years and he can stay two or three years with us," he told a news conference on Friday.

"He's an important player for us, for the team, with a good spirit.

"For me, also, with Jose Fonte and [Steven] Davis, he is a captain of the team because he has a good personality, strong character, quality.

"He's an important player for us and of course he will stay with us."

Southampton are seventh in the Premier League ahead of hosting Tottenham on Wednesday.