Date: 2nd December 2016 at 8:05pm
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Southampton manager Claude Puel has poured cold water on the links that Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk will be leaving in January by stating that they are just ‘speculation and rumours’.

The Netherlands international, who has played every single minute of Premier League action since he joined the Saints from Celtic last summer, has continued to impress this season with countless stand-out performances.

Speaking on the future of his defender, Puel said:

“It’s just speculation, and I cannot participate with speculation.

“All the players are in the club’s project, and for this season it is important to continue this work with good spirit and this is true with all the players.

“It is just rumour and it’s not important for me.”

His impressive showings have caused rumours that a move away from St. Mary’s could be on the cards in January, with Man United, Liverpool, Man City and former manager Ronald Koeman and Everton all interested.

The towering centre-half has been crucial to the progress the Saints have made since his arrival, and was integral when the side went on a six-match run without conceding, both this season and last.

With his stock rapidly on this rise the 25-year-old has been valued between a whopping £50m-£60m by Saints legend, Matt Le Tissier.

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