Coral’s Rumour Reel: Koeman keen on key Celtic defender?
Southampton have been linked with a host a top defenders this summer, as Dutch boss Ronald Koeman tries to strengthen his rear guard ahead of a tough Premier League campaign.
The Saints manager has set his sights on his fellow countryman Virgil van Dijk as the perfect defensive arrival. Celtic’s stalwart centre back was superb for Ronny Deila is last season’s double-winning campaign, and could soon arrive in England’s top-flight with the south coast club, who are 11/4 with Coral for a top six finish.
Meanwhile, Atlanta defender Yohan Benalouane is close to making a move to Leicester City, with the 28-year-old reportedly having already agreed terms for a £5.6m switch.
In the capital, West Ham United co-owner David Gold has stated that the club intends to make a further two signings before the summer transfer window slams shut. One of those potential arrivals is believed to be Barcelona’s Alex Song, who spent last term on loan with the Hammers, while the other will undoubtedly be a replacement for injured frontman Enner Valencia.
The east London outfit are also tracking Atletico Madrid’s talent 24-year-old Mexican attacker Raul Jimenez, but are waiting on any news involving the player’s work permit before a deal could possibly go ahead.
Elsewhere, Sunderland striker Connor Wickham is reportedly close to finalising a deal with Crystal Palace, with the Eagles boss Alan Pardew claiming a contract could soon be agreed for the young Englishman.
Swansea City boss Garry Monk has dashed any hopes of former club hero Michu returning the Liberty Stadium, claiming that the Spaniard is set to be offloaded, with a deal for him to depart currently being negotiated.
Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood is working hard to tie down his talented defender Ciaran Clark at Villa Park, with the Republic of Ireland international set to be rewarded with a new contract to fend off interest from West Bromwich Albion.
In the Championship, Fulham could capture 24-year-old Palace forward Dwight Gayle on a season-long loan deal, while Middlesbrough are lining up an improved £14m bid for Blackburn Rovers hitman Jordan Rhodes.
Boro have recently captured Stewart Downing, and a link-up with Rhodes could see them push for promotion this term, with the North East side 6/1 to win the Championship title this season.