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Southampton make season-long loan swoop for QPR defender Caulker

Coral’s 11/4 Premier League top six chances Southampton have secured the signing of central defender Steven Caulker on a season-long loan from QPR.

England cap Caulker, 23, is an academy graduate of Tottenham, who took current Saints boss Ronald Koeman’s predecessor Mauricio Pochettino to White Hart Lane last summer. He has also had spells at south Wales rivals Swansea City and Cardiff City, but endured Premier League relegation in both 2013/14 and 2014/15.

Southampton executive director of football Les Reed said: “We have tracked Steven for a number of years, and so we are very happy to have finally brought him to the club. Although still young, he has played several seasons in the top flight, as well as representing England at senior level and featuring for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games.

“Steven will offer us an excellent defensive option – especially with Florin Gardos ruled out after his knee operation. He is a player with a good blend of both experience and potential who is determined to grow, to develop and to prove himself during his time with the club.”

Caulker added: “I’m very pleased and very excited. This club has done fantastically well, especially over the last two years. To now join this club and to be a part of it for this year is something I’ve proud of.

“As soon as I got the phone call to say a fee was agreed with Southampton, I was delighted to get the opportunity to come and play under a great manager. This club is an ambitious one, so to be part of this is a great opportunity – it’s a chance for me to prove myself. I’m very excited for the season ahead.”

This news comes as Koeman and the Saints are about to embark upon their Europa League campaign, entering the competition in the third qualifying round against his former club Vitesse.

Caulker, who will wear the number 26 shirt, has over 100 Premier League appearances already, and played six times in Europe for Spurs in 2012/13. Cover in central defence is essential as Southampton missed out on the permanent signing of Belgium international Toby Alderweireld, who has since joined Tottenham.

Options at the back for the south coast club have been further reduced by Romania’s Florin Gardos sustained a serious injury, which will see him sidelined for six months minimum. You’ll not miss a single transfer with Coral’s live blog.