Report: Southampton looking to complete deal for Virgil van Dijk before this weekend

Southampton want to sign the Celtic defender before the opening game of the Premier League season.

Southampton have formally lodged a bid to sign van Dijk this summer, and they want to have the deal completed before this weekend, according to the Scotsman.

The fee is being reported at £7 million, and it is stated that a bid was lodged prior to Celtic traveling to Azerbaijan for their Champions League qualifying tie with Qarabag.

However, Southampton are willing to allow van Dijk to play in that game, but they are keen to ensure that a new centre-half is at the club before start of play on Sunday - when the Saints open their 2015/16 Premier League season against Newcastle.

Steven Caulker has already been brought to St Mary’s Stadium on a loan deal, to provide cover for the injured Florin Gardos, but Ronald Koeman is looking at van Dijk, 24, to become a long-term component of his back-line.

Is Van Dijk suited to Southampton?

As a young, ball-playing centre-half, the Dutchman looks to have all the talents which make him a perfect choice for the Saints’ tactical system.

He would also represent something of a moneyball signing, having been playing in Scotland for the past few years. His reputation, whilst impressive, is still not huge, and a £7 million fee seems exceptionally low for a player of his talents.

If the South Coast club can wrap up a deal in the next few days, they would have managed to sign one of the most promising defenders in world football.

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