Belfast Telegraph

Stricker Shane Long signs a deal for new-look Saints

By Staff Reporter

Southampton have continued their summer rebuilding with the signings of Shane Long and Florin Gardos. Striker Long joined on a four-year deal from Premier League rivals Hull for a fee that could rise to £12m.

Gardos also agreed a four-year contract at St Mary's, with the centre-back joining for a fee believed to be £6m from Romanian champions Steaua Bucharest.

It has been a summer of upheaval on the south coast with the departure of boss Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham topping off a host of big name exits.

Striker Rickie Lambert, midfield talisman Adam Lallana and defender Dejan Lovren all left for Liverpool while full-backs Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers departed for Manchester United and Arsenal respectively.

But Long and Gardos join striker Graziano Pelle, winger Dusan Tadic, goalkeeper Fraser Forster, full-back Ryan Bertrand and midfielder Saphir Taider in joining the club as Ronald Koeman engineers a first-team rebuild.

Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin are both still heavily tipped to leave before the end of the transfer window.

Long and Pelle are likely to lead the line when Southampton begin their Premier League campaign against Liverpool at the weekend and Koeman is delighted to have recruited the Republic of Ireland international.

"Shane is a very good player. As a striker, he's different to Graziano Pelle, which is something we needed," Koeman said. "He brings ambition and a great mentality. He's always running and always working. Shane will be an important player for us and our future."

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