Southampton Land £5m Defender

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Southampton sealed the £5m deal for Lech Poznan’s Jan Bednarek, making him the first signing of Mauricio Pellegrino’s reign.

The Daily Echo reports that 21-year-old centre back moved to the south coast this afternoon, adding depth to a defence which lost Jose Fonte in the January window.

It’s a signing which is also bound to add to the speculation over Virgil Van Dijk’s future. Liverpool received a slap on the wrists for tapping up the Saints defender but are now reported to be very interested in a formal deal to take the Dutch centre back to Anfield.

Southampton aren’t planning to throw the Polish Under-21 international in at the deep end unless they have to. Les Read, the highly-respected director of football at St Mary’s, told the media that Bednarek will be introduced slowly into the English game.

The Saints are busy renewing contracts at the moment with the impressive young duo of Matt Stephens, another centre back, and Sam Gallagher, a striker who netted twelve times on loan at Blackburn last season, both set for new deals.

Once Pellegrino knows his current squad’s futures are resolved, he will be able to strengthen ahead of next season.

One player leaving is Jay Rodriguez, who is set to move to West Bromwich Albion now that a £12m fee has been agreed between the two clubs.