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Pellegrino expects Virgil van Dijk to stay at Southampton

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.

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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."