Football

Published: Sunday August 10, 2014 MYT 6:33:11 AM
Updated: Sunday August 10, 2014 MYT 6:33:12 AM

Southampton sign England keeper Forster from Celtic

(Reuters) - Southampton continued rebuilding their depleted squad on Saturday when the Premier League club signed England goalkeeper Fraser Forster from Celtic on a four-year deal.

The 26-year-old was in the England squad for this year's World Cup finals in Brazil, although he did not play, and will provide competition for club captain Kelvin Davis and experienced Poland international Artur Boruc.

The transfer fee was not disclosed by the clubs but local media said Southampton had paid 10 million pounds ($16.77 million) for the highly regarded keeper.

Saints have allowed several internationals to leave in the transfer window including Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren, who are at Liverpool, with Luke Shaw joining Manchester United and teenage right back Calum Chambers moving to Arsenal.

The exodus continued on Wednesday when the club's unsettled record signing Dani Osvaldo was loaned to Inter Milan although Algeria midfielder Saphir Taider moved the other way.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino also left Southampton, who finished eighth last season with a record points tally, to join Tottenham Hotspur and was replaced by Dutchman Ronald Koeman.

VERY TALENTED

Forster began his career at Newcastle United but spent most of his time on loan before joining Celtic in 2010 where he won three Scottish Premier League titles and two Scottish Cups.

“Fraser is a very talented player and we are delighted to be able to bring him to Southampton," Koeman told the club's website (www.saintsfc.co.uk).

"This is another important part of our rebuilding process ahead of the start of the season.

"Fraser is the perfect fit to help complement the players we already have, and he will add a lot of quality to the squad."

He won the first of his two England caps last November in a friendly against Chile at Wembley and featured as a substitute in a World Cup warm-up against Honduras in Miami in June.

Forster also holds the SPL record of 1,256 minutes without conceding a goal.

Southampton begin their Premier League campaign at Liverpool on Aug. 17.

($1 = 0.5962 British Pounds)

(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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