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Koeman plots sixth Southampton signing with ideal Lovren replacement

Steaua Bucharest’s Florin Gardos is being eyed by Southampton as a replacement for Dejan Lovren.

According to reports in The Mirror, Southampton are preparing a move for Steaua Bucharest centre-back Florin Gardos as new boss Ronald Koeman attempts to fill the void left by the departure of Dejan Lovren.

Gardos, 25, featured on 29 occasions for his club side last term, starting in all but one of these appearances.

He proved an important figure throughout Bucharest’s title winning campaign, in which the Liga 1 outfit lost only one fixture, as they conceded just 20 goals.

The Romanian international is expected to command a transfer fee of £4.8m - a short price, compared to £20 million received as part of the deal taking Lovren to Anfield.

The imposing 6' 4" defender will be charged with replacing his predecessor at St. Mary’s, and based on first appearances, he looks up to the challenge.

Lovren’s departure accounts for a small fraction of a mass exodus at St Mary’s, which has seen the club lose several key players over the summer months. The Croatian joined the likes of club captain Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Calum Chambers and Luke Shaw, as he forced an exit from the South Coast side.

Koeman has invested his enlarged transfer budget wisely. The Dutchman has already signed Graziano Pelle, Dusan Tadic, Ryan Bertrand and Saphir Taider to help with his rebuilding job, while Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster is expected to join the club in the near future.

In the meantime, the former Feyenoord head coach will be looking to complete his sixth signing of the summer, as he looks to tempt Gardos into a Premier League switch.

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