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Southampton to take punt on Serbia’s Dusko Tosic

Southampton, 11/8 chances with Coral to repeat last season’s top 10 finish, are weighing up a move for Serbia defender Dusko Tosic, 29, as a replacement for Luke Shaw.

The left back, who can also play at centre half, has had limited previous exposure to English football. Tosic joined Portsmouth in 2010, but was immediately loaned to QPR where he made five appearances.

Ronald Koeman has already swooped for Tosic’s compatriot Dusan Tadic in a reported £10m transfer from Eredivisie Twente. Also high on his summer shopping list are a goalie and a striker.

Tosic’s chequered career has taken in stints France (Sochaux); Germany (Werder Bremen), where won the DFB Pokal and reached the UEFA Cup final, and Spain (Real Betis), as well as his native Serbia (OFK and Red Star Belgrade). He is currently playing for Genclerbirligi in the Turkish capital Ankara.

With a dozen caps for his country since 2006, Tosic has largely been on the fringes at international level, serving seven different Serbia bosses. That could become eight if he is selected by new manager Dick Advocaat for the Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Teenage sensation Shaw was sold to Manchester United in June 2014 for a fee in the region of £30m. Following his exit, there is no senior left back on the books at St Mary’s, although England Under-19 international Matt Targett could now come through from the youth setup into the first-team.

In Tosic, Koeman would be getting an experienced pro to add to a youthful squad. Argentine-born Italy international striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, meanwhile, is set to leave Southampton on loan again for his adopted homeland, with Inter Milan interested in securing his services. Osvaldo spent the second half of last season at Serie A champions Juventus.

Saints are rated much more likely to suffer relegation (6/1) under Koeman, following the sales of England trio Shaw, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana, than crashing the top four (66/1).