Southampton F.C. defender Jose Fonte has revealed Virgil van Dijk would be a welcome addition to the Saints squad amid ongoing reports linking the player with an exit from Celtic Park.
Despite signing Steven Caulker on a season-long loan deal from Sky Bet Championship side Queens Park Rangers, the Saints are still in the market for another centre-back after Florin Gardos was ruled out for up to seven months with a serious knee injury and Toby Alderweireld decided to swap St Mary’s for White Hart Lane.
According to reports, Southampton are keeping tabs on highly-rated Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk, who has impressed during his two-year stint with the Scottish Premier League champions.
“I know he’s a good player, obviously,” Fonte said. “He’s a guy that we’ve been linked to, but he’s not here yet.
“But if he comes he’ll be welcomed, like every other player that comes in this club.
“If he comes, he’ll add quality to the team and even more competition at the back, so it will be interesting.
“We are fortunate to have three very good defenders, centre-backs, so whoever comes they know they have to do a job, so I just hope I’m selected.”
When asked about the rumours linking him with a return to Crystal Palace, Fonte added: “It is what it is. I have responsibilities and I have a contract in this club.
“It’s always flattering to have interest from other people, but I think it is what it is, like I said.”
Southampton are priced at 11/4 to achieve a top-6 finish in the English Premier League in 2015/16.
Karanka looking for goals
Middlesbrough F.C. boss Aitor Karanka is in the market for a goalscorer but refused to confirm whether he will launch another bid for Blackburn forward Jordan Rhodes.
The Smoggies, backed by the bookmakers at 7/4 to win promotion to the English Premier League this season, were held to a goal-less draw against newly-promoted Preston North End at Deepdale on Saturday, and it is quite evident a third strike option could help propel Boro back into England’s top-flight.
“Jordan Rhodes is one player who scores goals but we have other alternatives,” Karanka said.
“I don’t want to speak about Jordan Rhodes every press conference because he is not my player and I have to think about my players.
“We need players who will score goals. We have Kike and Stuani and we need to bring in players who can score goals.
“Jordan is one name on the list and we have other ones. We have to make sure we get the right ones.”
Rhodes, 25, bagged 21 goals and four assists in 45 appearances in the Championship last season.