Koulibaly-Southampton progresses

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Saints to continue defender search

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Saints will redouble their efforts to ensure they have a new centre half by the close of the transfer window.

Ronald Koeman was short of defenders to select from for Saturday’s defeat against Everton with Ryan Bertrand, Steven Caulker and Florin Gardos all out injured.

Cuco Martina was the only defender on the bench against the Toffees.

Saints have made an approach for Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk, but the Scottish side are keen to complete their Champions League qualification campaign before entertaining a possible deal.

The club have also been linked with Napoli’s French centre half Kalidou Koulibaly.

With five goals conceded in the first two league games of the season, it is looking an increasing priority.

Koeman said: “Everybody knows we are working at one more defender, and then I think we have a very good squad for this season, and we know that. A little bit unlucky in our options what we don’t have at the moment.

“One defender on the bench and Matthew Targett played 90 minutes and he was ill, he wasn’t 100 per cent and we have to accept that and we can’t change that situation.”

…harassingly introduced by Optimus trousers…beta v1.6

Plus we have this report saying we are close to signing him.

Heaven knows our defence has been depleted and I don’t think Matt is quite up to it, we missed Ryan dreadfully on Saturday and Yoshida looks worse for him not being there.

But, as someone else somewhere has said, we need pace in the middle to compliment our “high pressing” style of play. This was shown by Kone and Lukaku blowing us out of the water on the counter attack.

I’m making my mission to defend Matty Targett (No really, just feels like it).

But interesting to hear that he was ill on Saturday, and even so had to play 90 mins.

Never heard of Kalidou Koulibaly, but I until Toke tells me he’s signing, I’m not going to believe anything.

I saw koeman saying targett was ill… Which makes me wonder how much faith he has in Martina if he let an ill targett play for 90 mins. Isn’t Martina meant to be able to play anywhere across the back four? Or couldn’t Yoshida go out left and Martina play CB? Not that I’m knocking targett, I think he will be decent for us in time. I liked him in some of the pre season games. It just seems like odd excuse making by koeman.

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Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is nearing a switch from the Serie A to English Premier League outfit Southampton.

Partenopei coach Maurizio Sarri is overseeing big changes to the Napoli back four, which has already seen Elseid Hysaj and Vlad Chiriches arrive from Empoli and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.

According to Sky Sport Italia, Koulibaly is the subject of a €12 million offer from Ronald Koeman’s Southampton, and is expected to be moved on in the coming days.

The guy who impressed me last night was Craig Pawson, his performance reminded me a lot of Howard Webb when he was in the middle of the Man Utd and Chelsea midfields.

Pawson is box-to-box, he can prevent goals and do damage in the opposition box, and he’s way cheaper than £12m - I reckon we could get him on board for £100k and a sports car.

Oliver was alright if you want players booked for no reason, but the likes of Pawson and Kevin Friend can change games and win you matches with one moment of magic that will surprise everyone.