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Southampton swoop for Alderweireld, Mane

AFP
Southampton have signed Belgian international defender Toby Alderweireld from Spanish champions Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan, the Premier League club reveals
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London (AFP) - Southampton have signed Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld from Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan and Senegalese winger Sadio Mane from Red Bull Salzburg, the Premier League club revealed on Monday.

Alderweireld, who can play at right-back and centre-back, won La Liga with Atletico last season and played in their Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid.

The terms of his deal reportedly include an option for Southampton to make the move permanent for a fee of around eight million euros ($10.5 million).

The 25-year-old has won 37 international caps for Belgium and was a member of the team that reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Brazil.

"I am delighted that we have been able to bring Toby to the club," said Southampton manager Ronald Koeman.

"He is a strong defender and is also very good at building up the play when we play out from the back.

"He played in the top league in Spain and against top teams in Europe, so he has a lot of confidence and experience, and he has a big future because he is still young."

Alderweireld began his professional career at Dutch giants Ajax and spent nine years at the Amsterdam club, winning three Eredivisie titles and one Dutch Cup.

He told the Southampton website: "I'm very happy to be here.

"I think this is an upcoming club. Southampton put a lot of effort in to get me, so now I want to give something back to the club by doing my best to help the team. I want to give everything for Southampton."

Mane, 22, has signed a four-year deal and is thought to have cost Southampton around £10 million ($16.6 million, 12.7 million euros).

Koeman said of Mane: "He can play in different positions in attack -- he can play on the left or right side and also at number nine.

"It is incredible how many goals he has scored from his position, and I hope that he will do the same for us."

After finishing eighth in the Premier League last season, Southampton lost manager Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham Hotspur and saw key players Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren and Calum Chambers leave.

But they have also brought in several new players, with Alderweireld and Mane following Dusan Tadic, Graziano Pelle, Fraser Forster, and Shane Long to St Mary's.

Uruguayan playmaker Gaston Ramirez was allowed to join Hull City on loan on Monday, while Algeria midfielder Saphir Taider had his contract terminated less than a month into a loan move from Inter Milan.

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