Southampton are set to make an audacious bid for Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld, according to reports.
The 25-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to AS Monaco in the last couple of days, but is said to prefer a switch to the Premier League with both Arsenal and the Saints keen to land the Belgium international’s signature.
According to the Daily Mail, Southampton boss Ronald Koeman is keen to link up with Alderweireld owing to a long-standing admiration for the player he first spotted playing in the Ajax youth system, whilst he was in charge of the Dutch giants.
Koeman has made his defence his number one priority before the transfer window slams shut on 01 September and the south coast club believe Alderweireld is the perfect replacement for centre-back Dejan Lovren, who joined Liverpool last month.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is also chasing the defender in the wake of Thomas Vermaelen’s departure to Barcelona and missing out on Kostas Manolas, who is set to join Serie A side Roma.
Alderweireld is ready to leave Atletico after only making 12 appearances in La Liga last season following his £6m move from Ajax and knows that he would likely play more games at Southampton than he would if he joined big-guns Arsenal or Ligue 1 heavyweights Monaco.
Another deal that Koeman is trying to tie up is Feyenoord captain Jordy Clasie following reports of his move to FC Porto having stalled. The Southampton coach is believed to be poised to swoop for the Netherlands international, who was a part of the Dutch squad who finished third at this summer’s World Cup.