Are Southampton preparing for Van Dijk exit with pursuit of Spurs man?

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Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk looks more likely for a big money move in January with every passing game. And it’s reported that manager Claude Puel is preparing for life without the Dutch man, with Tottenham Hotspur’s Kevin Wimmer high on his list of replacements.

Van Dijk was as short as 8/11 to leave St Mary’s in the summer earlier this week, and 7/4 to go in January, with the likes of Man United, Man City, Liverpool and Everton all keen on adding him to their ranks.

And there’s a growing feeling that one of those deals may well cross the line, a rumour which has only intensified tenfold since Wimmer’s name has been whispered around the south coast.

Right now our traders make it 6/4 for Southampton to be his next destination, while 5/1 says he leaves Tottenham in January and 7/2 on offer for him to leave next summer.

The 24-year-old has struggled to force his way into the first-team at Spurs on a regular basis since arriving back in July 2015.

He filled in for Jan Vertonghen for a short period last year, with Spurs boasting four clean sheets in the league from the nine games in which Wimmer started.

But he hasn’t had the best of times this year, featuring only twice in the top-flight. He scored an own goal in one of those games against bitter rivals Arsenal, before playing the full 90 minutes of Spurs’ only defeat of the season so far against Chelsea.

That’s not to say he doesn’t have the potential to be a great player, though. And the Saints have a solid scouting system which rarely fails in its attempts to find some of the best talents on the planet.

Prior to his move to White Hart Lane, Wimmer was a key figure at 1. FC Koln, helping the club back into the Bundesliga following relegation to the second tier of German football the year before.

Given the fact that current Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino spent just over a year in charge of Southampton between 2013-14, there’s reason to believe interest in Wimmer from the Saints stretches back to when the Argentine was still boss.

And if Tottenham were to allow the Austrian defender to leave for another Premier League club, Poch’s relationship with the Southampton board makes the south coast outfit a likely destination.

Granted, he’s not a like-for-like replacement, but Puel could do a lot worse than adding Wimmer to his team at the earliest opportunity should Van Dijk leave the club.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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