Soccer-Southampton sign Long and Gardos


(Adds Gardos signing)

LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Southampton have signed Ireland striker Shane Long from Hull City and Steaua Bucharest defender Florin Gardos, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

Gardos, a centre back capped 12 times by Romania, joined Long at the south-coast club as new Saints manager Ronald Koeman attempts to rebuild his squad after a number of high-profile departures.

The pair signed four-year contracts after joining for undisclosed fees.

"I'm delighted," the 27-year-old Long told the club's website ( after moving for what British media reported to be a 12 million-pound ($20 million) fee.

"This came out of the blue for me but, once I'd come and had a look at the training facilities and met the manager, it seemed like the right decision for me and my family.

"You look at how well they did last season and they are developing a new squad for this year to try and achieve those accomplishments again, and hopefully I can be a big part of that."

Southampton finished eighth with a record points tally in the Premier League last season but allowed internationals Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren to join Liverpool. England defender Luke Shaw moved to Manchester United.

They have also completed the signings of England goalkeeper Fraser Forster on Saturday to join new recruits Ryan Bertrand, Graziano Pelle, Dusan Tadic and Saphir Taider in Koeman's new-look squad.

The manager said Gardos can be a long-term replacement for Lovren, who moved to Anfield for a reported 20 million pounds ($33.37 million) in July.

"From the beginning, after Lovren left the club, we paid a lot of attention to Florin," Koeman said of the 25-year-old defender.

"He's still a young player so he can develop himself a lot more, and that's part of the ambition of Southampton. For now and for the future, we have a very good central defender."

Long and Gardos could make their debuts in Southampton's opening game of the new Premier League season against Liverpool on Sunday.

($1 = 0.5993 British Pounds) (Reporting by Sam Holden, editing by Ed Osmond)

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