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Pellegrino expects Virgil van Dijk to stay at Southampton

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Aug 2017

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Mauricio Pellegrino expects wantaway defender Virgil van Dijk will remain a Southampton player beyond the close of the transfer window.

Netherlands international Van Dijk agitated for a move away throughout the off-season, attempting to force the issue by submitting a transfer request earlier this month.

Saints chairman Ralph Krueger subsequently insisted the defender was not for sale and Pellegrino echoed that stance following Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Huddersfield Town.

Van Dijk was again absent from the matchday squad, while compatriot Wesley Hoedt, a £15million signing from Lazio, remained on the bench.

“I think on September 1st, Virgil will be here,” Pellegrino told reporters at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Southampton came under heavy examination in the first half of their draw with Huddersfield, eventually steadying after the restart to secure a third straight Premier League match without defeat.

Nathan Redmond and Ryan Bertrand both went close to snatching a late victory, while substitute James Ward-Prowse was denied a penalty in the 82nd minute.

“We watched the decision three, four, five times and it was difficult for us [to tell whether it was a penalty],” Pellegrino told Sky Sports.

“We have to respect the decision of the referee.

“We were really close to winning the game, but that’s football. It’s about efficiency – we had to score.”

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