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Fraser Forster signs for Southampton in £10m switch from Celtic

| 10.08.2014

Southampton, 7/4 with Coral for a top 10 finish, have completed the signing of Celtic and England goalkeeper Fraser Forster for a fee of £10m, handing him a four-year contract at St Mary’s.

The Bhoys rebuffed an initial offer from the Saints for their star stopper, who broke the record for most minutes without conceding a goal in Scotland last term, but have now sold 26-year-old Forster.

Capped once by the Three Lions, he went to the recent World Cup in Brazil as one of two understudies to Roy Hodgson’s number one Joe Hart.

New Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has been in the market for a goalie, meaning ex-Celtic custodian Artur Boruc now sees his place come under threat. Saints also have Argentine stopper Paulo Gazzaniga and club captain Kelvin Davis, who turns 38 in September, on their books.

Koeman has also been linked to fellow Dutchman and Bhoys centre back Virgil van Dijk, as he seeks a replacement for Dejan Lovren – one of three Southampton players sold to Liverpool this summer. The Saints manager also confirmed his interest in Sporting Lisbon’s Argentina international defender Marcos Rojo, but has reportedly failed with an opening bid.

A quarter of the fee for Forster is owed to former club Newcastle United, as they included a sell-on clause when Celtic purchased him from them. This leaves Bhoys boss Ronny Deila with former Sunderland stopper Craig Gordon and Poland cap Lukasz Zaluska to choose from as senior keepers.

Celtic sell Forster, who made almost 200 appearances in all competitions for the Glasgow giants, despite being reinstated in the Champions League. They will now play Slovenian side Maribor in the play-offs.

Third qualifying round opponents Leiga Warsaw, managed by former Manchester United player and once briefly Blackburn Rovers boss Henning Berg, were expelled by UEFA after fielding an ineligible player during the second leg of their 6-1 aggregate win over the Bhoys.

Forster is the fifth new arrival at St Mary’s this summer, following the recent loan captures of Algeria midfielder Saphir Taider from Inter Milan and Chelsea left back Ryan Bertrand.

Southampton, 11/2 chances for relegation, have also made the permanent signings of Serbia winger Dusan Tadic and Italian forward Graziano Pelle, who played under Koeman at previous club Feyenoord.

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Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.