Claude Puel dismisses Virgil van Dijk release clause rumours, comments on change of agent

Southampton's Virgil van Dijk during training

Virgil van Dijk has been linked with several other clubs so far this season.

Southampton manager Claude Puel has dismissed speculation suggesting there is a £25 million release clause in Virgil van Dijk's contract, the Daily Echo reports.

The impressive Dutchman has been the subject of rumours linking him with several other clubs - notably in the Premier League - but it was the notion of a clause was dismissed in one line from Puel.

He said: "It’s not true."

Southampton's Virgil van Dijk gesturesSouthampton's Virgil van Dijk gestures

The Daily Echo goes on to report that he is more likely to be valued at around the £50 million mark if any club wished to test the Saints' resolve, and the club has no intention of parting with the player in the January transfer window. 

Puel was also asked about the player's recent change of agents - which some would suggest is a clue that the player is looking to move on in the not too distant future.

The Saints boss seemed relaxed, saying: “If he wants to change agent, it’s not a problem for me.

“After this no comment about speculation, just to say that Virgil is an important player for the team, for Southampton, of course.

“For me it’s not a possibility to see him away."

Southampton manager Claude Puel reactsSouthampton manager Claude Puel reacts

It's clear that Southampton are prepared to keep hold of one of their prized assets for as long as they possibly can, and if/when the times come for him to move on then they will demand a top price for him. 

Van Dijk has shown on several occasions this season that he is one of league's best defenders. His strength, reading of the game - but also his ability on the ball - could prove to be a real asset to any side in the division.

Claude Puel seems determined to keep hold of him for as long as he possibly can. 

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