Is Lazio defender key to Southampton ace Van Dijk’s Liverpool move?

For now, Virgil van Dijk is a Southampton player, but the latest reports suggest he won’t be for much longer.

The Daily Mail claim that the Saints have given in to the fact that the Dutchman wants to leave for Liverpool, and have earmarked his replacement.

And that man is Lazio’s Wesley Hoedt, who boasts a striking number of similarities to Van Dijk.

Another Dutchman, Hoedt is three years Van Dijk’s junior, and at 6ft 3in boasts the same physical attributes as the current Saints centre-half.

Hoedt has impressed in the past 24 months, joining Lazio in 2015 after emerging on the scene in his homeland with AZ Alkmaar.

Again there are parallels with Van Dijk, who came through the ranks at Groningen before moving to Celtic.

Both are internationals for the Netherlands too.

But Southampton can reportedly acquire Hoedt for just £12m, while cashing in £60m for Van Dijk as and when he moves to Liverpool.

So it looks like the savvy Saints are set for a £48m profit on a like-for-like deal.

Everton could put up some competition however, with Ronald Koeman looking for a replacement for the injured Ramiro Funes Mori.

But should Hoedt move to the South Coast, then it opens everything up for Van Dijk to finally join Liverpool and bring an end this year’s longest-running transfer saga.

Ladbrokes Latest Betting:

Virgil Van Dijk club after summer window

Liverpool – 4/9

Southampton – 11/4

Chelsea – 4/1

Barcelona – 12/1

Arsenal – 14/1

Everton – 14/1

Juventus – 20/1

Click here for all the latest summer odds.

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