Southampton take next step to ensuring Champions League spot

Southampton have been reinforced by the arrival of Benfica midfielder Filip Djuricic in their bid to fight for a top four finish, Sky Sports reports.

The 23-year-old completed his switch to the St Mary’s Stadium on a season long loan deal and becomes the second January addition for the club.

Ronald Koeman earlier signed Werder Bremen winger Eljero Elia as a like-for-like replacement for Sadio Mane who has been called up by the Senegal national team to feature in the African Cup of Nations.

The manager also revealed that he knew Djuricic from his time playing in Holland ahead of his switch to the Portuguese side.

“I know the player from Holland. He played several seasons for Heerenveen and then he moved to Benfica,” Koeman told Sky Sports.

“It’s a young player. He’s 23 years old, he’s technical, fast and he can play in different positions in the midfield. He can play on the left side and the right side.”

His new signing is also said to be a close friend of Saints winger Dusan Tadic, a factor that Koeman believes could aid his adaptation into the English game.

“It’s always important. It makes the adaptation a little bit easier and faster and that’s good,” he added.

The attacking midfielder can also make his move to England permanent for an estimated fee of £9million depending on his performances during the course of the loan.