The duo have both been heavily linked with a move away from the Saints but their manager has reiterated the club’s desire to keep hold of them
Southampton defenders Virgil van Dijk and Jose Fonte will not leave in the January transfer window, according to manager Claude Puel.
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Van Dijk has been linked with a big-money move away from St Mary’s Stadium, with Chelsea and Manchester City said to be chasing him after his impressive form since signing from Celtic in 2015.
Captain Fonte, meanwhile, has reportedly attracted the interest of Everton and Manchester United, with only has 18 months left on his Saints contract.
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But Puel has reiterated he does not have any plans to sell the duo in January and is not worried that Van Dijk has become distracted by the speculation.
“With Jose [the situation] is a little particular but he is contracted with Southampton,” Puel said ahead of Saturday’s home Premier League match with West Brom.
“Virgil is a very important player for us and he will stay here. It will be important with Virgil to continue his work and [help us] go up on the table.
“For me with Virgil it is not an idea or view [that he wants to leave].
“Of course they will both stay. It is always speculation about different players. It is normal because they are great and important players.
“But it’s important for them to stay and have a good attitude and improve our position in the table.”
Puel also confirmed the club will not be appealing the red card given to Nathan Redmond in the 4-1 defeat to Tottenham on Wednesday, a first loss in four top-flight matches that left them in eighth position.