Luke Harris keeping us up to date 12/08/2020
The swap is complete, Southampton & Tottenham officially announced the two separate deals for Hojbjerg and Walker-Peters on Tuesday evening. Pierre joined Spurs for a fee in the region of £15m that could potentially rise to over £20m with add-ons, and Walker-Peters made his loan deal a permanent one for £12m plus a sell-on fee after signing a 5-year-deal.
Saints have also secured the signing of promising 21-year-old centre-back Mohammed Salisu who is patiently waiting somewhere in Southampton for his 14-day quarantine period to be over so he can travel to Staplewoods to take the standard contract signing and shirt holding pictures. He is expected to be announced before the squad return to training next Monday.
This transfer has now been announced by the club.
[Salisu thread – https://twitter.com/LHarrisSFC/status/1283040543560302597?s=20]
Now Hojbjerg is out the door, attention seems to have turned to his replacement. If you’ve paid attention to Twitter in the past few days you may have seen plenty of excitement as rumours of Saints being interested in Weston McKennie of Schalke surfaced from Germany. What later followed was a ‘Hokey Cokey’ of Saints being in and then out of the race for signing the USA international.
First reports suggested Saints were interested, later came talk of Schalke’s willingness to sell that put us in the front seat for his signing, then came Monaco and Hertha Berlin’s interest, later followed by reports from Adam Blackmore of the BBC & Carl Anka of the Athletic suggesting that reports are wide of the mark. Now, however, the reports have settled down and it seems that Saints are unwilling to spend the €25m that Schalke are demanding, but neither are other potential suitors Hertha Berlin who are attempting to negotiate. Worth keeping an eye on this one as I personally think we may re-enter the race if Hertha Berlin are successful in negotiating a better price.
However, as soon as talk of McKennie went quiet, a new name entered the frame. Orel Mangala, yet another prospect from Germany, this time the second tier. The 22-year-old currently plays for Stuttgart – who have been bouncing up and down between the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga for a couple of seasons – has been linked to Saints as reports suggest we’re considering an €11m offer. I personally do not see Mangala as a direct replacement for Hojbjerg, he’s more of an attacking minded central-midfielder than the departing Dane. He’s a similar mould to Ntcham from Celtic who was linked earlier on in the transfer window.
[Mangala Tweet – https://twitter.com/LHarrisSFC/status/1293246641630216194?s=20]
A number of left-footed wingers have also been linked to Saints in the past few days as Ralph seems to be searching for a player to provide competition for Armstrong. The Daily Mirror has linked us to former Bournemouth loanee Harry Wilson who belongs to Liverpool, but the £20m fee makes the transfer seem unlikely to happen. The Sunday People reported that we’re also keen on West Ham’s Grady Diangana who impressed on loan at West Brom last season.
With the arrival of Walker-Peters in January, our right sided winger or “wide number 10” as Ralph likes to call them, has been able to take up a narrower starting position on the pitch allowing the right-back space to overlap. This development in our tactic makes links to left-footed wingers sensible and viable in my opinion.
The arrival of a young 16-year-old from Walsall was also announced this week. Luke Pearce arrived on a scholarship deal after the two clubs agreed a compensation fee.
We can also expect this season’s Youth Intake to be announced soon (this is when clubs announce a batch of youth players, generally on free transfers) that are released from other clubs youth systems. Amongst these players, expect to see young Ecuadorian left-back Jeremi Rodriguez who signed from Las Palmas almost two weeks ago (He’s currently in quarantine like Salisu as he arrived from Spain) Also expected in this youth intake is Manchester City youngster Fedel Ross-Lang.
To finish off the list of incoming rumours we’ve seen this week:
Matty Cash / Nottingham Forest & Rick Karsdorp / Roma, both are right-backs so they seem unlikely after the arrival of Walker-Peters.
Martin Hinteregger / Frankfurt – This name has been mentioned a lot, he’s a quality centre-back but the €25m price tag seems unrealistic for Saints considering we’ve already signed one left-footed central defender this window.
Now let’s get to departures:
As I mentioned earlier, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg left the club in a potential £20m deal.
Crystal Palace hope to challenge Fulham for the signing of Harrison Reed, however it seems that the player will either decide to stay at Saints or complete an £8m move to Fulham.
Forgotten defender Wesley Hoedt is a transfer target for Dutch side AZ Alkmaar. There was also talk of three clubs in Belgium being interested.
Tentative reports in Turkey suggest Mario Lemina is wanted by Besiktas. The Gabonese midfielder was on loan at arch rivals Galatasaray for the 19/20 season but their chairman has declared that he isn’t part of their plans for the future and they will not look to buy him. There have also been some links to Werder Bremen who have apparently already had a meeting with Southampton over a potential deal.
Social media reports suggested that Angus Gunn is subject to a £13m bid from Leeds United, however this report has no real source and seems to be wide of the mark. Leeds are apparently interested but have yet to make any approach or bid.
Talk coming out of Argentina suggested that former manager Mauricio Pellegrino who is now at Velez has contacted Guido Carrillo about yet another reunion, but the Argentinian striker would like to remain in Europe for the time being.
Rumours from Poland & Germany suggest Saints are interested in Poland international Kamil Jozwiak who managed 9 Goals & 7 Assists for Lech Poznan last season, they are apparently willing to accept just £3.5m.