December 29, 2017 / 5:08 AM / 8 months ago

Saints keen to invest Van Dijk windfall on three players

(Reuters) - Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino is hopeful the club can land at least three of their transfer targets to make up for the loss of centre back Virgil van Dijk, who swapped life on the south coast for Liverpool for a world record transfer fee.

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City vs Southampton - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - November 29, 2017 Southampton's Virgil van Dijk during the warm up before the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

Van Dijk will arrive at Anfield on January 1 after the clubs agreed a reported 75 million pound fee that would make him the world’s most expensive defender and Pellegrino said the deal should benefit the Saints.

“You have to analyse in a positive way to reinvest this money in our squad to try to be stronger. At Southampton, it is impossible to bring in players for 80 million pounds or 50 million pounds,” the Argentine told reporters.

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Southampton - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - December 26, 2017 Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino looks dejected Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

“But maybe for us it can mean a couple of good players. Maybe we can change one player for two or three players with this money.

“We are talking about the couple of targets that we’ve got. I would like to bring in a couple of players minimum and we have to work for this.”

Before the transfer window opens on Monday, 14th-placed Southampton face a tough trip to second-placed Manchester United as they look to end a poor run of seven Premier League games without a victory.

Regular fullbacks Cedric Soares (back) and Ryan Bertrand (hamstring) are still recovering from injuries and will not be available for the trip to Old Trafford.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien

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