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SOUTHAMPTON TARGET ARMSTRONG AS VAN DIJK EXIT NEARS

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SOUTHAMPTON have emerged as the latest Premier League club targeting Celtic’s Stuart Armstrong.

Armstrong, 25, has become an integral part of the Celtic side that went season 2016/17 undefeated and won the domestic treble and Brendan Rodgers is anxious for the midfielder to sign a new deal.

However, with a year to run on his current deal, interest is brewing from south of the border – especially given his excellent form in European matches, as well as for Scotland and the extended period that contract negotiations have dragged on for.

Armstrong was brought to Celtic Park for £2 million pounds in January 2015 but seemed to have lost his way by June 2016, when Brendan Rodgers became manager. A year later, the midfielder is one of the team’s jewels and his box-to-box nature saw him rack up 17 goals and 7 assists.

Southampton, who prised Virgil Van Dijk, Fraser Forster and Victor Wanyama from the Celts,  are reportedly willing to offer £10 million pounds for the midfielder.

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Rodgers remains confident that the player will pen a new deal and repay the manager for his faith in him.

“I am pretty confident the club and the agent will come to an agreement,”

“He’s happy here in this environment and he knows he is improving and developing. So let’s wait and see. He’s someone I’m keen to keep.

“The last thing he needed to worry about was contract talks. We wanted to put that to one side. I’m sure that will be resolved over the course of the season. He’s now an international player so let’s wait and see. He’s someone we want to keep.”

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Southampton are set to lose their captain Virgil van Dijk this summer with Chelsea and Liverpool likely destinations for the former Celtic defender.

Liverpool had to apologise to the Saints last month after reports emerged that the Anfield club had crossed a line in their pursuit of the Dutchman.

The apology was accepted and the matter closed but Liverpool may not be prepared to take not for an answer, particularly as van Dijk is keen on going the Merseyside giants.

That would be good news for Celtic who have a significant interest in this transfer courtesy of the sell-on clause inserted when van Dijk moved to the Saints for the Scottish Champions.

Southampton have done very well in their dealing with Celtic and Brendan Rodgers will want to guard against losing another star to there south coasters.  That means signing up Stuart Armstrong on a new deal sooner rather than later.

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Meanwhile Celtic’s Jamie Lindsay has join Ross County on a season-long loan deal.

The 21-year-old spent last season at Greenock Morton where he impressed; however, as a step up, Lindsay will join the Premiership team as they battle to regain a top six place.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Jim McIntyre was grateful to have the deal completed.

“Jamie is a young exciting talent who had a fantastic season on loan at Morton last year and I am delighted to get him to our Club.  I would like to thank Celtic for assisting in getting this deal done.”

Lindsay has flown out to join the side’s preparation for the new season in La Manga.

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