Van Dijk has ‘no plans to join Liverpool, Man City or Man Utd’

Date published: Thursday 9th February 2017 9:32 - Daniel Roberts

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk will reportedly turn down the chance to join both Manchester clubs and Liverpool in the summer.

The Saints’ new club captain, who took the armband after fellow centre-back Jose Fonte moved to West Ham, was expected to leave the club at the end of the season.

However, the £5omillion-rated man is said to be committed to the Southampton cause and the club are confident they’ll have van Dijk for another year at least.

A club source, attributed by the Daily Star, is claimed to have  said: “When Virgil took the captaincy it was on the understanding he would lead the team until the end of next season as a minimum.

“He has a long-term contract and is settled at the club.”

The Dutchman signed a new six-year contract in May last year, which Southampton insist doesn’t include a release clause.

Fellow countryman Ronald de Boer on Wednesday praised the defender, declaring that van Dijk has made ‘unbelievable progress’.

Speaking to talkSPORT, the 46-year-old said: “He has made a transition in a positive way.

“Under Ronald Koeman at Southampton, he made unbelievable progress and now this year he is one of the top defenders in the Premier League.

“When he was at Groningen he did OK, he was physical, but we Dutch men always want defenders to play the ball to the same colour and that is something we thought was not his best thing. But now he does that.

“His passing is excellent but, most importantly, his defending is outstanding. He is showing it week in, week out in one of the toughest leagues in the world.”

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