Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino accepts he cannot control the future of star defender Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk, 26, has made 12 Premier League appearances for Southampton this campaign after a transfer saga in the off-season.

The Netherlands international is again being linked with a move in January, with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea reportedly interested.

Pellegrino, whose team were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea on Saturday, admitted Van Dijk could be set for an exit.

“I can’t control the market,” he said.

“I’m not the owner of the player. I can have my opinion and this I have given to the technical director, to the chairman.

“After, the board can decide all together which is the best for the team.

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“But I repeat that I can’t control the market right now. I will recommend to try to keep our best player here at the club. The club was clear about it in the beginning and I have the same opinion.”

Winless in five games, Southampton are 12th in the Premier League.

The club also faces a tough road before the window opens again, with matches against Huddersfield, Tottenham and Manchester United all on tap before the end of December. 

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