Jul 28, 2016
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Southampton: Talks begin for Belgium youngster; Saints pursue back-up for Forster

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A reasonably quiet few weeks on the south coast in the transfer market has been followed by a fresh pursuit of two new players.

Saints’ flawless preseason so far will definitely have fans excited for the season ahead but the demanding calendar of Europa League football may push manager, Claude Puel to add some more depth to his squad.

 

A goal-scoring winger still seems to lack amongst the Southampton ranks; a void left by the departure of Sadio Mane.

However, the Daily Mail are reporting that talks have begun between the Saints and Anderlecht over the signing of young Belgian midfielder, Samuel Bastien.

The 19-year-old spent last season on loan at Serie B side Avellino, where he scored two goals in 31 appearances from centre-midfield.

There had been rumours linking Bastien to Liverpool earlier in the summer but the Saints are now in pole position, but is this a wise move?

Of course, £4million is a relatively small figure but with a number of young central midfielders already at Southampton, the focus should be channelled somewhere else.

The likes of James Ward-Prowse, Harrison Reed and new summer signing, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg are all at Puel’s disposal already.

Although Ward-Prowse and Højbjerg are likely to get ample game time under the new manager, Reed is one that will desperately be hoping to force his way into first team plans.

An abundance of young and experienced midfielders makes it a very strange decision but if Bastien does live up to the hype that’s being created in Belgium, Southampton may have a steal at £4million.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports have confirmed that talks have begun between Southampton and Crystal Palace of the signing of ‘keeper, Alex McCarthy.

 

The goalkeeper position has become thin on the ground due to the retirement of club legend Kelvin Davis, and the departure of loanee Maarten Stekelenburg who returned to Fulham before joining ex-Saints manager Ronald Koeman at Everton.

McCarthy has endured a career of numerous loan spells and now the Saints are aiming to bring the Eagles shot-stopper to St Mary’s to contest the number one spot with England international, Fraser Forster.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear encouraging news for Argentinian ‘keeper Paulo Gazzaniga, despite the fact he signed a new four-year deal in 2015.

 

Gazzaniga joined the club in 2012 but has been restricted to just 21 appearances and the arrival of McCarthy could force the ‘keeper further down the pecking order.

The 24-year-old has been very inconsistent when called upon to feature in the first team and the arrival of McCarthy could bring the best out of both Gazzaniga and Forster.


Featured Image: All rights reserved to Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht

Article Categories:
Southampton · Transfer Round-up

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