Captain Jose Fonte and Virgil van Dijk are to stay St Mary’s until at least the end of the season according to gaffer Claude Puel, after huge amounts of transfer speculation for the pair.
The centre-half pairing have established themselves as one of the Premier League’s best this season with some fine performances and mustering seven clean sheets between them.
Captain Fonte was rumoured about a potential exit from the South Coast in the summer after winning the 2016 European Championships with his native Portugal in France earlier this year.
Dutchman Van Dijk started this year in fine form and hasn’t looked back since and has been one of the standout players of this season, which has attracted the big clubs from across Europe.
The Frenchman slapped down rumours with his comments and also said “how important” it is for them to stay and have a good attitude and improve “our position in the table.”
“Virgil is a very important player for us and he will stay here,” he added.
He said that both parties in the Van Dijk situation are happy with the outcome as it’s not an “idea to sell” on the manager's behalf and the centre-back does not “view to leave” in January.
Van Dijk was voted Saints Player of the Year for 2016 in an poll for fans earlier in the week, so this is a Christmas bonus for fans.
"Jose’s situation is a little peculiar but he is contracted with Southampton,” asserted the boss.
He did not continue on the situation regarding the Euro 2016 winner apart from confirming he won’t be leaving.
The pair shipped four goals against Spurs in their worst performance yet but hope to get back on track with a clean sheet and a win against West Brom at home tomorrow after a rather short turn around.