Published: Mon, December 26, 2016
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Saints boss confident Van Dijk will stay


Pep Guardiola has denied that Manchester City will be in the market for a centre-half in January, dismissing in particular reports that he is interested in Southampton's Virgil van Dijk.

It's the season of giving but what Virgil van Dijk got from Secret Santa will certainly set tongues wagging.

Guardiola believes that new arrivals are unlikely but, while he does hint that he could do with a new full-back, he insists that there is absolutely no chance of Van Dijk being signed.

However, according to The Telegraph, Southampton have decided that it will take an offer of £60m for them to entertain the possibility of their most prized asset leaving St Mary's. He's an important player for us, for the team, with a good spirit. "That takes games. That takes playing at the highest level and with the national team".

"Every player in the world has ambitions; I have ambitions like everyone else".

"He is a Southampton player and we don't want him now".

Guardiola claims he has little need to sign players in January, although he has not ruled out the possibility completely.

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The Netherlands worldwide joined Southampton after impressing with Celtic and was one of the top performers for the side last season, when they achieved their highest Premier League position by finishing 6 and was duly awarded Southampton's player of the season by fans.

"The figures you mention about me?"

But the City boss says the 22-year-old England player simply needed a breather after a hectic start to his City career. It had never happened before with the Champions League and the League Cup, and every three days you have to be focused.

Guardiola says he is happy with the centre-backs at his disposal and that nothing untoward should be read into the fact that John Stones has missed the past two games, both of which resulted in City victories. I know that people think if a player doesn't play it is because the coach doesn't trust him anymore.

"Of course he is young and has to improve but he is open and has a lot of personality". The difference is the personality, how they react in the bad moments.

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent.

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