SOUTHAMPTON supremo Les Reed has backed boss Claude Puel and insisted Virgil van Dijk will NOT leave the club this month.
Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton have been linked with the £60million-rated Dutch international centre-half with additional interest coming from France and Spain.
A big-money deal would see Celtic rake in at least £5million in the sell-on clause in the contract he agreed when he quit the champions in a £13million move 16 months ago.
Executive director Reed said: “Virgil is not for sale.
“We haven’t had any bids and if we received offers we wouldn’t consider them.
“It just doesn’t make sense to think we would release Virgil van Dijk in mid-season when we have still got, we believe, all to play for.”
Van Dijk, 25, joined the Hoops from Dutch outfit Groningan for £2.6million in 2013.
There’s a long time to go in the transfer window and the chances of Reed holding firm and keeping Virgil at the club will very much depend on how high the bidding war goes.