UPDATE 1-Soccer-Southampton strengthen midfield with Diallo signing

(Adds official announcement)

Oct 4 (Reuters) - Southampton have signed French youngster Ibrahima Diallo from Ligue 1 side Brest on a four-year contract, the Premier League club said on Sunday.

British media had reported the southcoast club paid around 12 million pounds ($15.52 million) for the 21-year-old midfielder.

France Under-21 international Diallo graduated from Monaco’s academy before making his breakthrough at Brest, a club he signed for permanently in 2019 following a successful loan spell.

Diallo helped Brest to Ligue 1 promotion in 2018-19 and they finished 14th on their return to the French top flight last season.

He became Southampton’s third recruit in the transfer window following the arrival of Mohammed Salisu from Real Valladolid, while Kyle Walker-Peters’ loan move from Tottenham Hotspur was made permanent.

“He is an important signing for us, because in midfield we only have so many alternatives, and he showed in France that he is a fantastic midfield player,” Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said in a statement.

“He’s a very smart one, a very clever one, he reads the game very well. He’s also quick and dynamic, against the ball very aggressive and with the ball also with good decision making, so he is a player who I think fits perfectly in our team.”

Diallo will link up with his new team mates after the international break, with the youngster selected in the Under-21 squad for matches against with Liechtenstein and Slovakia.

$1 = 0.7733 pounds Reporting by Rohith Nair and Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ed Osmond