After a turbulent season last term, Mark Hughes has plenty of work to complete in the transfer market for Southampton ahead of the new campaign.
The Saints have spent significantly to bring Angus Gunn, Jannik Vestergaard, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Stuart Armstrong to the south coast but remain in the hunt for additional recruits before the season begins in just a few weeks time.
The missing link appears to be in the final third and in the heart of midfield, as we identify five deals the Saints could complete this week.
Danny Drinkwater: Chelsea
After a torrid first season at Chelsea, England international Danny Drinkwater could be on the move out of Stamford Bridge and the Mirror has named Southampton as one of the clubs interested in a loan deal for the midfielder.
The Blues’ signing of Jorginho has handed Drinkwater further competition for a spot in the middle of the park and an exit looks likely, with Southampton being potential suitors for a player who’s experience could be vital next term.
However, the signing of Armstrong from Celtic has left Southampton well stocked for midfielders and a player like Drinkwater would command first-team football so it is difficult to see how he would fit into Hughes’ plans.
Danny Ings: Liverpool
Another England international who has struggled since sealing a move to one of the Premier League’s established big clubs, Danny Ings is poised to leave Liverpool in the next few weeks as he sits behind Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Dominic Solanke in the pecking order.
Rated at a costly £20 million, according to The Guardian, Southampton would have to bite the bullet with an expensive fee for a player who has endured numerous injury setbacks in the past few seasons – which will be a major concern.
A return of three goals in just 14 Premier League appearances for Liverpool is far from a bad return, although it is his consistency that will be questioned.
Matt Targett to Fulham
22-year-old Matt Targett impressed on-loan with Fulham last season, as the Cottagers sealed promotion back into the Premier League, and Slavisla Jokanovic’s side continue to eye a permanent switch, according to reports.
The Mirror (29th July, 17:27) claims Fulham have raised their bid in an attempt to persuade Southampton into a sale, after hitting issues in their pursuit of alternative targets, but the Saints remain firm in their stance that they will not sell.
“He shows he can play perfect in both positions. Some games I play him as winger too if you remember our game but I am talking about Sessegnon when you asked me about Matt. He can be the perfect player to play behind the left winger.”
Sebastian Walukiewicz: Pogon Szczecin
Southampton have already landed Vestergaard to bolster their defensive ranks this summer and now appear to be eyeing the services of a highly-rated youngster, as Polish outlet Przeglad Sportowy name the Saints as interested in Sebastian Walukiewicz.
18-year-old Walukiewicz is also stated to be a target for Premier League giants Arsenal but the teenager could have a better chance of pushing for first-team football if he seals a move to join the south coast club in the summer window.
Tipped as one of the next big things in eastern Europe, Walukiewicz could be crafted into a fine asset by the Saints.
Filip Kostic: Hamburg
After approving the exit of Dusan Tadic, Southampton are reportedly looking to sign one of his colleagues from the Serbia national team in the form of Hamburg’s Filip Kostic, according to the Daily Mirror (July 28, page 64).
It is claimed that one of the German club’s investors has told Hamburg to cash-in on the 25-year-old following their relegation from the Bundesliga, with Klaus-Michael Kuehne wanting his money back after loaning the club the money to sign Kostic previously.
The winger could be the ideal player to fill the void left by Tadic’s departure but Southampton may have to offload to make room for the new arrival.