Lulic on Southampton radar

The outfit is ready to give up on Marcos Rojo, valued at 38 million euro by Sporting, and instead turn its attention to the Lazio man as Ronald Koeman eyes defensive cover.
Southampton is considering a move for Lazio's Senad Lulic after being rebuffed in its attempts to land Marcos Rojo.

Saints boss Ronald Koeman remains eager to bolster his squad, particularly the back line, after losing Dejan Lovren, Calum Chambers and Luke Shaw this summer, with Sporting defender Rojo having been atop his wish list.

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The Argentina international, who starred at the World Cup, was made a priority signing by the south coast outfit, despite the player being unsure about a move, and Southampton executive director Les Reed was in Portugal last week for talks with Sporting.

But the Portuguese giant is holding out for 38 million euro for Rojo – far in excess of the €21m the Saints are prepared to pay – and Southampton is now ready to move onto other targets.

Bosnia international Lulic has now emerged as an alternative to Rojo, with Koeman looking to add further cover and competition for left backs Ryan Bertrand and Matt Targett.

The Lazio man, who can play at left back and on the flanks, has attracted interest from the likes of Juventus and AC Milan this summer, though neither club was able to reach an agreement, and the 28-year-old has instead taken a full part in the Rome club’s preseason, featuring in its recent friendly against Hamburg.

Unlike Rojo, a move to the Premier League and Southampton would appeal to Lulic, who has been a regular for Lazio since joining from Young Boys in 2011.

Southampton has been busy this summer after losing a host of first-team players, signing Graziano Pelle, Dusan Tadic, Saphir Taider, Fraser Forster and Bertrand.