Southampton insist they’re planning this season with Virgil van Dijk.

Saints last night completed the capture of Holland international centre-back Wesley Hoedt from Lazio for a fee of around £15 million. It’s been suggested his arrival would see Liverpool target Van Dijk to leave.

But football director Les Reed stated: “Finding a naturally left-footed player is even more difficult.

“We have been tracking central defenders on our target list for the past 12 months and Wesley has always been at the top of that list, so it was important to act when the opportunity came.

“Wesley has proven his talent through his performances for Lazio, as well as the Netherlands, and we believe he can develop even further here at Southampton, alongside his international team-mate Virgil van Dijk, as well as the likes of Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida, Jan Bednarek and Florin Gardos.”

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