Southampton eye up van Dijk replacement from Lazio

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While one Dutch centre-half could be on his way out of Southampton another may be set to join, if reports are to be believed.

With Virgil van Dijk set to leave St Mary’s this summer the South Coast club are on the lookout for a replacement.

And it appears that Fellow countryman Wesley Hoedt could fill the void.

The 23-year-old represents a youthful replacement for van Dijk who still looks on course for a move to Anfield before the window slams shut at the end of the month.

Hoedt made 23 appearances for Lazio last season and scored twice as the Stadio Olimpico club finished 5th in Serie A and were runners-up in the Coppa Italia.

The Dutch international has two years left on his current contract and is thought to be available for around £15m.

Southampton are known for bringing quality players to the club for a cut-price fee, and Hoedt would certainly appeal to manager Mauricio Pellegrino.

With money to spend following the takeover of the club by the Gao family of China, we think that the defender has a good chance of rocking up on the South Coast by the end of the summer.

However, the Saints could face competition from both Newcastle United and Everton.

The pair have both been keeping tabs on the ex-AZ Alkmaar man and could be prepared to bolster their defensive ranks before the window closes.

While the Magpies can offer the carrot of first-team football, Toffees manager Ronald Koeman still has an open chequebook following the £75m sale of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.

It is Southampton though, who remain frontrunners.

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

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket and horse racing.