Southampton defender Jose Fonte said he would welcome the arrival of in-demand Celtic star Virgil van Dijk at St Mary’s Stadium.
Van Dijk is tipped to leave the Scottish champions, with Premier League duo Southampton and Everton among the 24-year-old centre-back’s admirers.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has already brought in Steven Caulker on loan for the 2015-16 campaign, adding to his list of centre-backs including Fonte, Maya Yoshida and Florin Gardos, who is injured.
The possible acquisition of Van Dijk would put pressure on Fonte but the Portuguese veteran said: “If he comes he’ll be welcomed, like every other player that comes in this club.”
Fonte, whose Southampton kick-off their Premier League campaign against Newcastle United on Sunday, added: “I know he’s a good player, obviously. He’s a guy that we’ve been linked to, but he’s not here yet.
“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.”
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