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Southampton can’t afford to lose Dusan Tadic after reports of Ajax agreement

Mark Hughes simply cannot let this reported move materialise.

Jamie Watts



Southampton play-maker Dusan Tadic has allegedly agreed terms with Ajax, with the Dutch giants said to be willing to pay £15 million for his signature, according to reports from Dutch outlet De Telegraaf. But his current side should do all they can to scupper the deal.

The 29-year-old has become the Saints’ most creative addition, since arriving from the Eredivisie in 2014, acting as the team’s catalyst to build attacks with his technical quality and experience over his 162 appearances for the club.

Despite not having a prolific 2017/18 campaign, the Serbian international notched a respectable six goals and three assists, and Ajax are now keen to add him to their ranks after failing to win their domestic league for the fourth consecutive season.

Photo: Getty Images

But currently, Mark Hughes really isn’t in a position to be releasing players of Tadic’s quality, notably when a lack of creativity in the final third was undoubtedly the side’s biggest weakness. The Saints created more chances than anyone outside of the top six, yet were 15th for number of goals scored, as the final pass or finish was constantly lacking.

Take Tadic out of the equation and the team could have serious problems, as the majority of midfielders at the club are more focused on defensive duties, and are lacking in offensive quality.

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Three summer signings that would lead Southampton back into Europe

Mark Hughes needs to open his transfer kitty if the Saints are to return to Europe.



Photo: Getty Images

Southampton endured a difficult season in the Premier League last term and need to be active in the market this summer to bolster their ranks.

A turbulent campaign saw the Saints finish 17th, just three points above the relegation zone, which represents a huge decline in the past two seasons where Europa League football was secured.

Mark Hughes was a controversial appointment last term but he managed to steady the ship on the south coast and he now needs to utilise Southampton’s impressive strategy in the market, which has seen the Saints secure a number of bargain deals.

Southampton need to do the same again this summer, although they may be forced to spend big for some targets due to the rise in market prices.

“It’s important fresh faces come in. It’s not necessarily deliberate but as a consequence of players moving on, contracts finishing. There’s an opportunity to bring players in. There’s always a churn at the end of the year.”

Southampton manager Mark Hughes on the transfer window.

Jack Butland – Stoke City

Relegated with Stoke City last term, England international Jack Butland needs to be back in the Premier League if he is to knock Jordan Pickford off his perch as number one for the Three Lions.

While he has been linked with Chelsea and Liverpool, Southampton could be the ideal fit.

Now 25, Butland has plenty of years ahead of him and could enter the prime years of his career on the south coast – and a deal would suit Southampton’s transfer strategy as he would present tremendous sell-on value in the future.

There is no doubt that Butland will end up at a ‘big’ club eventually but Southampton should be the next step on his quest for stardom.

(Photo by Paul Ellis/Getty Images)

Marlon Santos – Barcelona

With West Ham seemingly ending their pursuit of Marlon Santos, Southampton have been left as the frontrunners to secure the services of the Barcelona outcast as they look to find a replacement for Virgil Van Dijk following his January switch to Liverpool.

Sport state the deal for the 22-year-old Brazil defender will cost just €13 million (£10.6m) and that presents another opportunity for Southampton to continue to earn financial stability by purchasing relatively low before selling for a high price.

After a successful stint on-loan in Ligue 1 with OGC Nice, Southampton would be wise to tempt Santos to switch the French Riviera for Hampshire.

(Photo by Valery Hache/Getty Images)

Andrea Petagna – Atlanta

It is no secret that Southampton desperately need a new striker and it seems the man they have in their sights is Italy forward Andrea Petagna, although Tuttomercatoweb claim newly-promoted Wolves also have the same idea.

Just 23, Petagna is another player who can be developed at St. Mary’s following a campaign where he scored six goals and contributed a further seven assists in Serie A for Atalanta. Already capped once by Italy in 2017, he could become a regular for his nation in the future.

Reportedly available for a measly sum of just £9m, Petagna could be the final piece to the puzzle in Southampton’s rejuvenated attacking line following the £16 million capture of Mohamed Elyounoussi.

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Southampton will hope Jannik Vestergaard can follow in footsteps of those before him, but stay at club

The Danish star is on his way to Southampton.

Mathew Nash



Southampton are on the verge of completing a deal to sign Danish defender Jannik Vestergaard from Borussia Monchengladbach. The deal is reported by Sky Sports to be worth around £18 million and the defender will undergo a medical at St Mary’s this week.

It is a shrewd piece of business from Southampton, who need to improve all over the pitch after a poor 2017-18 campaign.

In Vestergaard, the Saints have snapped up a genuine talent and one who might follow a recent trajectory for Southampton centre-back recruits.

(Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Dejan Lovren thrived at Southampton following his arrival from Lyon. Such form eventually saw the Croatian join Liverpool. Toby Alderweireld was another central defender snapped up by Southampton. At the end of his loan deal from Atletico Madrid, the Saints tried to sign him up but the Belgian headed to Tottenham Hotspur.

Then there is the world’s most expensive defender. Southampton signed Virgil van Dijk from Celtic at a very similar stage in his career. He went on to thrive at St Mary’s and eventually joined Liverpool in a £75 million deal.

Will Vestergaard ever be worth as much? Who knows. But he has all the attributes to do so and will hope to have a similar impact as those before him at St Mary’s.          

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Should Southampton target Nacer Chadli after World Cup heroics?

The Belgian looks back to full fitness and would be a Mark Hughes signing for Southampton.

Mathew Nash



West Brom fans will be forgiven for wondering if the Nacer Chadli they saw win the game late on for Belgium against Japan at the World Cup this week is the same one they snapped up from Tottenham in 2016.

Despite Chadli playing 31 times for the club in his first season with the Baggies last season he featured just five times in an injury-ravaged campaign.

His selection for the World Cup was something of a surprise. He certainly has answered those critics. Chadli looks lean and fresh, with West Brom fans wondering where he was last term. He has a £17 million release clause in his deal after relegation last season, so who should target him?

(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

One team where he might be the perfect fit is Southampton.

The Saints need to bring in recruits all over the pitch. Last season they flirted with relegation and bringing in the Belgian powerhouse would give them plenty of options in attack.

Chadli can play anywhere along a front-three and showed he can operate as a wing-back against England.

Southampton manager Mark Hughes likes a powerful, disciplined and versatile player all attributes you can easily pin on Chadli.

It seems his fitness issues may now be behind him and Southampton could be the perfect location for the Belgian this summer.

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