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Virgil van Dijk release clause is a lie, claims Southampton boss, as price rockets for Chelsea and Man Utd transfer target

Reports of a Virgil van Dijk release clause have seen the in-form Southampton centre-back linked with most of the Premier League big boys in recent weeks.

However, according to the Saints boss Claude Puel, the 25-year-old Dutch defender does NOT have a £25m buyout agreement in his current contract.

“It is not true”, Puel is quoted as saying by The Mirror, who claim that Southampton will demand £40m for their star man.

The Mirror list Manchester City and Everton as admirers of Van Dijk, while the London Evening Standard say Chelsea are monitoring him, with Manchester United and Liverpool likely to provide the Blues with stiff competition for his signature.

Van Dijk has had a fine season and has been the 12th best player in the Premier League so far, according to WhoScored.com data.

In 15 starts, Van Dijk has been named Man of the Match three times.

He has attempted 34 tackles, winning 30 of them, and has completed 40 interceptions, as well as making 735 passes.

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