Manchester City are set to miss out on Southampton target Virgil van Dijk after the Saints’ chairman Ralph Krueger has come out and said the defender is not leaving St Mary’s this season.
According to The Sun, Krueger has insisted that Van Dijk will not be shown the exit door at Southampton once the current season comes to an end – much to Pep Guardiola’s dismay.
Speaking after Southampton’s thrilling EFL Cup defeat on Sunday, he said:
“We are just out of the January transfer window and are striving to keep this group together and to build on it. Virgil is very committed us for a long time and we don’t see anything but that in our future. He is our team captain and we don’t see him anywhere else than in red and white stripes.”
Manchester City had been one of a few teams that had been linked with the 25-year-old Dutchman in recent months – alongside Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain – after his impressive season so far.
Despite missing out on one target Guardiola has reportedly already set his sights on a new signing, with the Daily Mail reporting that Bayer Leverkusen’s Benjamin Henrichs is now a part of City’s future plans.
20-year-old Henrichs plays at right-back for the German side, and with Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta both in their 30s Guardiola could delve into the transfer market for a replacement in the summer.
The youngster has already been capped once by Germany and put in a man of the match performance when his side beat City’s Premier League rivals Tottenham earlier in the season.
The report claims that Guardiola has made Henrichs and Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin his prime targets this summer, as he looks to consolidate his defence ahead of next season’s title challenge.
Away from transfer news, Pep Guardiola has said that Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany will play a vital role in the club’s run-in – despite only playing five hours of football this entire season.
The Belgian centre-back is set to miss City’s FA Cup replay against Championship side Huddersfield after suffering yet another injury, this time to his leg which ruled him out of the opening fixture.
Speaking ahead of the fifth-round clash, Guardiola said:
“No, he won’t be ready, not for tomorrow, but he is much better.
“He’s not ready to play yet, but he should be soon. He’s in the last part of his recovery.”
Kompany has only managed one appearance since injuring himself against Crystal Palace in the Premier League back in November but will hope to return to the side in the upcoming weeks.
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