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The sporting director told that the Dutch outfit do not foresee any departures and admitted they will only bring in reinforcements if they are hit with injuries


By Wayne Veysey | Chief correspondent

PSV Eindhoven sporting director Marcel Brands has declared that in-demand duo Dries Mertens and Erik Pieters will not leave the Dutch club in the January transfer window.

Belgian winger Mertens has been linked to Manchester United and Everton, while Holland’s first choice left-back Pieters has been a long-term target for Newcastle United.

Brands is prepared for further interest before the window shuts but, in an exclusive interview with, has insisted that no players will be leaving the Phillips Stadion next month.

“We are not looking to sell any players at all,” explained Brands. “We are in the race for the title. We are in second place with one game in the Eredivisie and one game in the Europa League to go.

“We want to finish with wins then we have a short winter break. I don’t expect something to happen to our squad.”

Mertens has been one of the stars of this season’s Eredivisie following his switch last summer from FC Utrecht, leading the league scoring charts with 13 goals, but Brands poured cold water on the possibility he could leave.

“We don’t buy a player like Mertens to sell them after six months," he said. "Nothing is going to happen. There are a lot of rumours in the media but not one club has contacted us [about Mertens].

“There are no clubs who ring us for information about this player. There are no offers. We know that there are clubs watching our players. When we play at home there are a lot of clubs watching our games, but we don’t know who they are watching. We don’t know if they come in for the players now or in the future.”

Brands has been impressed by the performances of Mertens this season but it has not come as a surprise to the PSV executive.

“We knew about him for a long time before we signed him,” he said. “He has improved a lot. He has already scored 13 goals and provided a few assists, which, for a winger, is excellent. He is doing very well.”

Hands off | PSV sporting director Brands says no players will leave in January

Pieters is out of action until the new year after breaking his foot in October and Brands insists that there is no chance of a deal with Newcastle being revived.

“No, because, first thing, we won’t sell in the winter and, second thing, he is injured. We think he will be fit again in February and we look forward to him playing again for us,” he added.

Brands did not rule out the possibility of PSV adding to their squad in January as they step up their title push but says the club would only make reinforcements to cover injuries.

“Maybe we buy if we have injuries,” he said. “When you have a problem with a successful position, it can change. At this moment we have a few injuries but we expect them to come back at the end of January. At this moment we are not busy and we don’t do anything.”

The ex-AZ Alkmaar executive, whose former club lead the Eredivisie by four points, knows how important it is for the 21-times league winners to regain the title that they won four years in a row from 2005-2008.

He continued: “I have been at this club for one and a half years. The club had a lot of success in the last 10 years but the last two seasons we couldn’t make it to the title, which is always disappointing for a club like PSV or Ajax.

“This season we want to go all the way to the title. It is a long way. We have a young team. It is based around players who are 22-23. They are very talented and young players but they are very reliable too.”

Brands also ruled out any interest in Arsenal winger Ryo Miyaichi, who had a successful loan spell in the second half of last season at PSV’s Eredivisie rivals Feyenoord.

He said: “No. We didn’t speak with Arsenal about Miyaichi.”

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