Liverpool have been given hope they could still land Virgil van Dik this summer after Southampton were said to have lined up a move for a potential replacement.
The Reds have long been linked with a move for the Dutchman, despite being forced into a public climbdown over their chase for the player.
Saints were on Monday reported to be planning talks with Van Dijk to try and reintegrate the player into first-team training after his self-imposed exile and amid claims they still hoped he would stay at St Mary’s.
However, with Liverpool refusing to go away and with fresh reports circulating that they are planning a fresh £60million bid for the player, Saints have themselves been linked with a £12million move for Lazio defender Wesley Hoedt.
Mauricio Pellegrino has been using Jack Stephens and Maya Yoshida as his centre-back pairing and they have Poland Under 21 international Jan Bednarek to call upon also.
However, the Daily Mail reports that talks have taken place over Hoedt, another Holland international, who has been at Lazio since 2015.
The 23-year-old was a target for Southampton last summer while Middlesbrough, Leicester and Everton have also considered the former Alkmaar centre back. Hoedt is strong in the air, comfortable on the ball and a good reader of the game – making him, on paper at least, the ideal replacement for Van Dijk at St Mary’s.