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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Southampton not in talks with Man City over Van Dijk transfer despite 'a lot of speculation'

Dutch defender has been linked with a move to the Premier League leaders as well as Liverpool and Chelsea.

Virgil van Dijk, centre, has been linked with a January move to Manchester City. Tony O'Brien / Reuters
Virgil van Dijk, centre, has been linked with a January move to Manchester City. Tony O'Brien / Reuters

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has said the club are not in talks with Manchester City over the transfer of Virgil van Dijk following reports the Dutch defender is a January target for the Premier League leaders.

City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed a defender is his top priority when the transfer window reopens next month, with Van Dijk among the names linked with a move along with West Bromwich Albion captain Jonny Evans and Real Sociedad's Inigo Martinez.

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Pellegrino is not surprised about the speculation surrounding Van Dijk, who is also a long-term target for Liverpool while Chelsea have also been credited with an interest, but the Spaniard has insisted that as things stand, there has been no movement regarding the defender's future.

"I was with (Southampton vice-chairman) Les Reed talking about that but nobody knows about that," Pellegrino said.

"I know Virgil is an important player and around him will be a lot of speculation like other important players in the squad. I cannot control this and I don't want to talk about it."

Pellegrino believes the intense speculation surrounding Van Dijk's future is not likely to affect the player.

"In the past when I was a player I didn't have the same name as Virgil in the media, but when you hear something that another club wants you it increases the confidence."

Southampton face Huddersfield Town in the Premier League on Saturday.