Southampton transfer news: Marseille centre-back jets in as Saints edge Aston Villa, West Ham in transfer race

Duje Caleta-Car, Chuba Akpom Middlesbrough v Marseille friendly

Southampton are pushing to sign Marseille defender Duje Caleta-Car are look to have beaten Premier League rivals Aston Villa and West Ham to his signature.

The Croatia international is reportedly jetting into England on Thursday to complete a switch to the Premier League before the transfer window slams shut at 11pm.

And, according to Daily Mail, Caleta-Cur is set to replace West Ham-bound Jan Bednarek.

Saints have also held talks with Rennes star Loic Bade, but he now looks more likely to join Nottingham Forest.

Caleta-Car was previously a target for the Hammers. However, he turned them down as he waited for an offer from a Champions League club.

But with no offer incoming, the Mail states the giant defender is now seemingly on his way to St Mary’s.

The 25-year-old has decent pedigree, indeed Liverpool were chasing his signature last summer. The only reason a move did not go through was that Marseille could not find a replacement in time.

Caleta-Car joined Marseille in 2018 for £16m from RB Leipzig and has gone on to make 130 appearances for the club. He’s also scored five goals in that time.

Last season he featured 38 times as Marseille finished second in Ligue 1 to secure Champions League football. They will face Tottenham in this season’s group stage.

Caleta-Car arrives with decent pedigree

But the French side will seemingly head into that competition without one of their top defenders.

For Saints, it will give Ralph Hasenhuttl another lift, after he watched his side sink Chelsea in midweek.

Southampton are currently eighth in the Premier League after Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Chelsea.

Hasenhuttl’s men face Wolves away in their next Premier League outing on Saturday.

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