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Southampton back in for Atletico centre back Alderweireld

| 01.09.2014

Southampton are looking to bolster their defensive options before the transfer window slams shut tonight with a move for Toby Alderweireld.

Ronald Koeman is still on the hunt for a replacement for Dejan Lovren after the Croatian moved to Liverpool and the Dutchman has re-launched his bid to bring in Alderweireld on loan from Atletico Madrid.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was reportedly interested in the former Ajax central defender but has since pulled out of the race for his signature, leaving Southampton as the front runners to conclude a deal before the 11pm deadline.

The Belgian star has made 37 appearances for his country and was part of the Atletico squad that won La Liga last season.

But after failing to hold down a regular starting spot with the Spanish champions he is open to a move to the Premier League with the St Mary’s outfit.

Koeman had also been hoping to sign Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk from Scottish champions Celtic but with the club refusing to meet the £8m asking price Newcastle appear in pole position for his signature.

Elsewhere, reports suggest the south coast outfit have bid £11.8m for Salzburg midfielder Sadio Mane as they look to strengthen a squad that has lost the likes of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Rickie Lambert and Calum Chambers this summer.

The 22-year-old Senegal international was a key player for Die Roten Bullen, scoring 13 goals as Salzburg clinched the league and cup double in Austria.

Saints appear to have beaten off stiff competition from Sunderland and Newcastle to land their man.

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Oliver Yew