Southampton: Chasing Napoli striker; links to Dutch starlet; away tickets reduced
The transfer window has been a turbulent time for Saints fans. The departures of a few important players have left a bitter taste in the mouth, but Claude Puel is striving towards restoring the squad to full strength and is definitely making progress.
The Saints have been continually linked to a new striker following reinforcements to other areas of the field, and there could finally be progress in the hunt for their new front man.
Reports in Italy, specifically from Tutto Mercato Web, believe Southampton have entered negotiations with Napoli over 24-year-old striker Manolo Gabbiadini.
Gabbiadini was touted as one of the finest young strikers in Italy during a spell at Sampdoria, before moving to Napoli at the beginning of last season.
While undoubtedly a quality player, the scintillating form of Gonzalo Higuain relegated Gabbiadini to the bench for the majority of the season.
While limited to just 4 starts and 543 minutes of football over the entire Serie A season, Gabbiadini netted nearly once every 100 minutes on the field. In the Europa League, he managed to score 4 times in just 366 minutes of gameplay.
With Higuain leaving for Juventus, it could prove difficult to prise Gabbiadini away from Napoli for less than £20 million, if at all.
A more affordable option could be Frankfurt’s Luc Castaignos. The Dutchman arrived at Frankfurt from Inter last season but failed to adapt to German football, scoring four goals in 19 appearances.
The 23-year-old is still highly regarded despite his faulting Bundesliga form, and the Saints could face competition from Newcastle and Sporting Lisbon for the striker’s signature.
Castaignos is known to be a potent threat with the ball at his feet, but does struggle in the air.
According to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, reports in Portugal claim that Frankfurt would be willing to listen to offers in the region of 3 million euros, making him a surprisingly affordable option in today’s market.
Sponsor Virgin Media have announced that they will subsidise away tickets for supporters visiting St Marys, reducing the cost of standard tickets to £20.
The Times’ chief football writer Henry Winter announced the news on his Twitter as well, to mixed reception by fans.
Smashing initiative. It's tax deductable & engages the local football family.
— Kate Austin (@kateaustin496) August 9, 2016
nice PR move but it shouldn't set a precedent of clubs relying on sponsors to do this. PL Clubs can easily fund it themselves
— Joel Seymour-Hyde (@Joeler_SH) August 9, 2016
Questions were raised comparing the scheme to other club’s initiatives that help their own fans, but any steps towards reducing the cost of ticket prices for fans will be regarded as a step in the right direction.
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