OptiNews - Friday 22 to Thursday 28 December 2017

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Optimus trousers posted this 28 December 2017

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Optimus trousers posted this 28 December 2017

Sourced from Daily Mail article

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino looks to spend van Dijk funds

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Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino hopes to recruit at least two new players following the £75 million sale of Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool.

Van Dijk will be available at Anfield from January 1 after the most expensive move made by a defender was confirmed on Wednesday, eclipsing the £54 million paid by Manchester City for full-back Kyle Walker.

The Holland centre-back handed in a transfer request during the summer as talk of Jurgen Klopp's interest swelled, and Pellegrino insists his exit is smart business for Southampton.

Pellegrino said: 'I would like to bring in a couple of players minimum and we have to work for this. We have been talking about the couple of targets that we've got.

'Maybe we change one player for two players or three players with this money and this has to be the positive target.

'We have to analyse this situation and this is good personally for him and will be positive if we reinvest in our good targets for the future.

'Sometimes at this level, Southampton is impossible to bring in players for £80 million or £50 million but maybe for us that can mean in the future a couple of good players.

'The question of whether the sale is a good deal is more for our board, but from outside of the business plan I think so.

'Now the deal is done and will be positive for the club and Virgil and we can reinvest this money in our squad to try to be stronger and this is everything.

'We have got our targets and have to look forward to pushing on and trying to improve our squad.

'Now the Virgil deal is done, my best wishes for him, but it has to be a positive impact to reinvest, a good decision for the future.'

Van Dijk joined Southampton from Celtic for £11.5 million in 2015 and, following a strong start to his career on the south coast, his form deteriorated after his recovering from an ankle problem.

Pellegrino added: 'It's difficult to come back and keep the same level that Virgil had before when you were eight months out.'

Southampton have lost four of their last seven Premier League matches, failing to produce a win since late November.

They travel to face Manchester United on Saturday after Jose Mourinho's men were held to a 2-2 draw by high-flying Burnley on Boxing Day.

Pellegrino said he will look closer to home for inspiration: 'I was analysing that game but I think now our target is to bounce back in the Southampton way, to play with more character and be more clinical in ways.

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Optimus trousers posted this 28 December 2017

Sourced from Mirror.co.uk article

Theo Walcott lined up for surprising Premier League switch

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Southampton want to use the first chunk of their Virgil van Dijk cash on taking Theo Walcott back to St Mary’s.

They have asked Arsenal whether he is available in January and want to do a deal either on loan or a permanent transfer and hope that Walcott wants to move.

Southampton , flush with £75m after selling van Dijk to Liverpool, are ready to meet Walcott’s £140,000-a-week wages but face competition with Everton and West Ham also keen.

Walcott had become Southampton’s youngest ever player when he left to join Arsenal for £12m in January 2006 and has gone on to enjoy a long career with club and country.

But the 28-year-old now finds himself struggling for game time, he wants to play, although Arsenal may wait with a growing fixture list and also Olivier Giroud out injured for up to six weeks.

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino said: “Obviously, we don’t have this money to go to the market to bring the best players in the world, but we have got our targets that we want to bring in with this money.

“We were (the board) talking about the couple of targets that we got. I would like to bring a couple of players minimum and we have to work for this.”

Southampton are also among a queue of Premier League clubs tracking Celtic hot shot Moussa Dembele.

Celtic may allow Dembele, 21, to leave in January for more than £20m but the French starlet is likely to wait to see what clubs come in as Arsenal, Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain have looked in the past.

Saints vice chairman Les Reed is also scouring Europe for a proven centre-back to fill the void left by van Dijk. Swansea’s in-demand Alfie Mawson is also on their radar.

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