Southampton captain Virgil van Dijk looks set to be one of the stories of the summer as top Premier League sides battle to land the 25-year-old over the coming months.
The Netherlands international, who has been linked with both Liverpool, Chelsea and most recently Arsenal, is out for the season having sustained a long-term ankle injury in a win over Leicester earlier this season.
Speaking ahead of his side’s clash with Premier League leaders Chelsea tonight, however, Saints boss Claude Puel said he expects to see him at the start of next season.
“It’s the same thing, he’s has a long contract with Southampton, he’s our captain, he’s an important player for us and I wait for him for next season as he cannot play until the end of this season,” the former Nice manager told the Southern Daily Echo.
Leading up to his unfortunate injury, which ruled him out of the EFL Cup final with Manchester United, the Dutchman had been one of the standout performers in the league, let alone on the south coast.