Southampton face stiff competition for Norwegian international

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Southampton look to have stolen a march on the Merseyside clubs in the race to sign highly-rated Molde defender Vegard Forren.

The Norwegian international was set to go on trial with Liverpool after being strongly linked with Everton prior to that, but these plans have been scrapped in the wake of Saints tabling a bid for the 24-year-old.

Forren is thought to be keen to ensure himself the best possible chance of playing regular first team football and, as he’s unlikely to dislodge either Martin Skrtel or Dan Agger from the heart of the Reds defence, a move to the south coast is favoured.

Saints stand a good chance of beating the drop following a sharp upturn in form that’s seen them lose just two of their previous 11 Premier League games and with the addition of Forren to their backline, whose current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer describes him as “good enough to play for Manchester United”, the likelihood of them staying up improves further.

In recognition of his efforts in Molde’s Tippeligaen-winning side, Forren was awarded with the Norwegian equivalent of the Player of the Year.

His capture would represent a real coup for Nigel Adkins’ men with a host of clubs around the continent thought to be keen on beating him to the punch, as well as competition that exists within the Premier League.

In addition to the Merseysiders, Harry Redknapp is thought to be interested in making Forren his Bear Grylls to improve QPR’s slim chances of survival.

With Ryan Nelsen aged and outgoing, he needs a centre back who can be acquired for a reasonable fee and is also capable of having an instant impact in the Premier League.

Alan Pardew has recently discovered how un-saintly Arry is willing to gazump his competitors with inflated wage packets and, with the R’s satisfying Forren’s apparent criteria of guaranteed first football, they could well snatch him from under Southampton’s noses.

Whichever club he chooses, it looks as though Forren will be jumping in at the deep end of a Premier League relegation battle, which Southampton are priced at 9/5 to lose, while QPR’s fate looks a degree bleaker at 4/9.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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