Southampton planning replacement for Liverpool target with Celtic star?

Southampton are reportedly eyeing a move for Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk who could come in at St Mary’s to replace Liverpool target Dejan Lovren.

The 23-year-old centre back only signed for Celtic last year from FC Groningen but the 6ft4” defender could be moving again, according to reports suggesting he is being pursued by Southampton.

The Saints already have four centre backs at the club at present in Maya Yoshida, Jose Fonte, Jos Hooiveld and Dejan Lovren who is a target for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers this summer.

The Saints have already lost Adam Lallana to the Merseyside giants and England fullback Luke Shaw to Manchester United are have been understood to be more than a little reluctant to let the 25-year-old Croatia international leave St Mary’s. However, if reports that Celtic’s Van Dijk is on his way are accurate, the Dutch defender could well be the intended replacement for Liverpool’s target.

Lovren impressed in the Premier League last term making 31 appearances. Despite his recent arrival just last year at St Mary’s he adapted remarkably quickly to the demands of the English top tier after spending the previous four years in France with Lyon.

The Saints’ enforcer has earned 28 caps for his country whilst Celtic’s Van Dijk has only been included in the team with the Netherlands on three occasions at under-21 level but the Saints’ scouts are held in high esteem around the world and have one of the finest development academies and policies in England, bringing through the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain previously.

Virgil van Dijk made 47 appearances for Celtic last term, including gaining experience in the Champions League, including games against Barcelona and Ajax in his homeland.

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