Daily Echo:

SAINTS are chasing the signature of highly rated central defender Jan Bednarek from Lech Poznan, in what could be a record deal for a Polish club.

The 21-year-old, who will be playing for hosts Poland at the European Under-21 Championships this month, has already been subject of a 6m Euro offer from Saints, the Daily Echo understands.

If this offer were accepted it would make Bednarek the most expensive player in Polish top-flight history.

But despite the current bid testing Lech's resolve, they are currently believed to be in no rush to sell one of their most prized assets.

The feeling is that Bednarek, who is rated as one of the best young centre-backs in the country, may command an even higher fee after the Euros, in which he is expected to blossom further.

As a result, Lech are keen to hold out until after the tournament finishes at the end of this month.

Saints aren't alone in their adoration for Bednarek with German outfit Hannover also holding a keen interest in the 6ft2in centre-back.

The Bundesliga side recently had a 2.5m Euro offer rejected.

Bednarek is certainly a player that fits in with Saints’ recruitment policy, with the rookie defender possessing bags of potential and commanding a relatively low fee.

Saints are likely looking to bolster their defensive options after releasing Martin Caceres at the end of his short term contract – and with Virgil van Dijk’s future still unclear.

Liverpool recently dropped all interest in Van Dijk, but the Dutchman is still attracting big interest from the Premier League’s leading clubs, including Manchester City and Chelsea.

Van Dijk’s future is unlikely to have any bearing on this particular interest in Bednarek, with Saints keen to recruit in this department anyway.

The young defender played 27 times for Lech last season in the Polish Ekstraklasa, the country’s top league, helping the Kolejorz to third place.

He spent the 2014/15 season on loan at Gornik Leczna, where he played 17 times.

Bednarek could come up against some of his potential new club team-mates at the European Under-21 Championships, where England are placed in the same group as Poland.

The Young Lions side includes Saints quartet James Ward-Prowse, Jack Stephens, Matt Targett and Nathan Redmond and they may well come up against Bednarek when Aidy Boothroyd's side play the hosts on June 22 in the southern city of Kielce.