SAINTS are understood to be hopeful of completing an £18m deal for Borussia Monchengladbach centre-back Jannik Vestergaard.

The Daily Echo understands the club have agreed a fee for the towering 6ft7in defender, who was in the Denmark squad at the World Cup.

It is believed the 25-year-old will complete a switch to St Mary's this week. He will undergo a medical at Staplewood in the coming days.

Vestergaard was unused at the World Cup as the Danes reached the last 16, losing to England's semi-final opponents Croatia on penalties.

The imposing figure has spent eight years playing in the German Bundesliga, having played for Brondby in his homeland in his youth.

A young Vestergaard started out at Hoffenheim, where he made 76 appearances in four-and-a-half seasons before moving to Werder Bremen in January 2015.

He was a mainstay in Werder's team in 2015/16, playing 39 games in all competitions.

Mochengladbach then paid 12m euros for Vestergaard in June 2016 where he has played 79 times in two seasons.

Now the 16-time capped Dane is set to become Mark Hughes' third signing of the summer after Stuart Armstrong and Mohamed Elyounoussi.

Saints will take their summer spending to £41m if Vestergaard joins.

Vestergaard has missed just three Bundesliga matches in three seasons and is known for his aerial might. He is also said to be comfortable on the ball.

Hughes is keen to strengthen his defensive options this summer, with Saints set to continue to play a three-at-the-back system next term.

Vestergaard, who will join fellow Dane Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on the South Coast, will compete with Maya Yoshida, Jack Stephens, Wesley Hoedt and Jan Bednarek for a centre-back place.