Published: Tue, August 22, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Watch the skies - Player now flying to England to sign for Southampton

Watch the skies - Player now flying to England to sign for Southampton

Worryingly, James Pearce of the Liverpool ECHO has confirmed that if the Reds can not sign van Dijk, they will press ahead with Gomez, Klavan, Lovren and Matip as their four centre half options.

Sky sources reported last week that the Saints were in advanced talks to sign the 23-year-old Netherlands worldwide centre-back.

Hoedt, who joins on a five-year deal for a reported £15m, is the second centre-back signed by Mauricio Pellegrino this summer, following the arrival of Jan Bednarek for £5.7m in July.

This week the club was taken over by a Chinese consortium, but the deal isn't as rosy as fans would like.

The newspaper says Chelsea hope this soft approach will put them in pole position ahead of Liverpool to sign the 26-year-old if the south coast club eventually change their stance and agree to do business.

The arrival of Van Dijk's compatriot Hoedt at Southampton will fuel the suspicion that the club are making provisions in case a sizeable offer for their exiled defender is received, even though Saints chairman Ralph Krueger making it clear last week that his club was not interested in selling players this summer.

"Wesley is one of the most promising young defenders in Europe and represents a significant addition to our squad", Reed said in an official statement.

But Reed has moved to assure Southampton's supporters that Hoedt has not been signed to replace Van Dijk.

Van Dijk is likely to set the Merseysiders back around £60m or so if they are to rekindle their pursuit, but if Klopp is ultimately unable to prise the player away from Southampton, he is unlikely to land or target an alternative.

"Shortly, he will be sold to Southampton. I think Southampton is a really big club, so it's a good next step for me to come here and to play in the Premier League and try to help the best I can".

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