Southampton lining up £6m Arsenal target as Lovren replacement

Toby Alderweireld

Southampton will look to land Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld as a big name replacement for now-Liverpool centre back Dejan Lovren.

New Saints manager Ronald Koeman has had quite the rebuilding job on his hands this summer. The Dutchman was brought over from Feyenoord as a replacement for now-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, and he's immediately had to deal with a number of departures.

Following a successful campaign last season, Southampton have seem their team pillaged by the Premier League big boys, with Calum Chambers heading to Arsenal, Luke Shaw signing for Manchester United, and trio Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert leaving for Liverpool.

Koeman has brought in the likes of Fraser Forster, Florin Gardos, Saphir Taider, Dusan Tadic, Shane Long and Graziano Pelle this summer, and whilst there are big hopes for Romanian international Gardos, Koeman will surely want to sign another big name centre back to replace Lovren.

Gardos joins Jose Fonte and Maya Yoshida at St. Mary's Stadium, and now another centre back appears to be on the radar - Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld.

The former Ajax star, 25, impressed in the Netherlands and despite interest from a number of Premier League teams, he joined Atletico Madrid in 2013. Despite winning the La Liga title, it was a frustrating season for Alderweireld, as the Belgian international struggled to dislodge first choice centre back pairing Miranda and Diego Godin.

After impressing at right back for Belgium at the World Cup, speculation has been rife that Alderweireld would leave the Spanish capital in order to find first-team football elsewhere - particularly when his dad pleaded with Atletico let his son leave.

Arsenal have been strongly linked with a move to sign Alderweireld in a £6m deal as a replacement for his international team mate Thomas Vermaelen, but now the Gunners have strong competition from Premier League rivals Southampton - who are armed with a huge transfer kitty following their sales.

If both teams do bid for Alderweireld, then the defender will have a decision to make - play primarily as a backup to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker or start on regular basis for Southampton.

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