Tuesday 6 December 2016

Fonte would welcome Van Dijk deal

Published 08/08/2015 | 22:38

Jose Fonte, pictured, would like to see Virgil van Dijk at Southampton
Jose Fonte, pictured, would like to see Virgil van Dijk at Southampton

Jose Fonte believes Virgil van Dijk would be a high-quality addition if Southampton can coax the defender away from Celtic.

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Manager Ronald Koeman is in the market for a new centre-back after Toby Alderweireld decided to join Tottenham and Florin Gardos sustained a serious knee injury.

Steven Caulker recently arrived on a season-long loan from QPR, but the Southampton boss is determined to strengthen further and has targeted Van Dijk.

Signed from Groningen two years ago, the 24-year-old has flourished at Celtic and long-serving Southampton skipper Fonte would welcome his arrival.

"I know he's a good player, obviously," the Portugal international 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."

Southampton begin their Premier League campaign against Newcastle on Sunday.

It is not just Van Dijk attracting admiring glances, with a recent report suggesting Crystal Palace were interested in bringing Fonte back to Selhurst Park, where he played from 2007 until joining Southampton in 2010.

"It is what it is," Fonte said when asked about the speculation. "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."

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