Guardiola rules out Van Dijk transfer bid

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has ruled out the possibility of making a move for highly-rated Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old's future has become the subject of widespread conjecture ahead of the mid-season transfer window following a strong start to life at St Mary's.

The Dutch centre-back is said to be on the wishlist of several English teams, and he set tongues wagging late last week after being pictured in a Manchester City shirt – Van Dijk was given the shirt by a Saints teammate.

However, Guardiola has moved to dampen speculation over an impending transfer bid, insisting the Citizens would not be making a move for the player in January.

When asked about the club's reported interest in the defender, Guardiola told reporters: "Next month, Van Dijk here? We're going to Southampton to play against them. He's not going to come here next month. Impossible.

"He's a Southampton player and we don't want him now. We're going to Southampton to play against them, that's sure."

While a new centre-back is not on his wishlist, Guardiola admits he could look to sign a new full-back.

He added: "If you ask me today, no. But maybe next week we're going to change and we realise we need something special in one position to keep one more player in that position, especially in the full-backs. But the other positions we are quite happy."