Southampton join Watford in six-way transfer battle for £4.3m striker Randal Kolo Muani
According to Foot Mercato, Southampton have joined Watford in a six-way battle to sign Randal Kolo Muani after making initial contact with the FC Nantes striker’s agent.
The Saints are convinced Muani is ready for the Premier League after assessing the 22-year-old this season, as he hit eight goals and eight assists in Ligue 1 for a relegation-threatened side.
Antoine Kombouare’s team enter the final weekend of fixtures in 17th place and occupying the relegation play-off spot, but could rise as high as 13th with a win at home to Montpellier on Sunday and other results go their way.
Muani has been key to the Canaries limping through to the final day with only Ludovic Blas scoring more (10) and no other Nantes player laying as many assists, during what is only the 6 ft 1 dynamo’s first season as a senior player for the Stade de la Beaujoire outfit.
It may prove to be his only season, as well, with there a strong chance Nantes will sell Muani in the summer for offers in excess of €5million (£4.3m) amid widespread European interest.
Southampton have made it a six-way battle for the Frenchman’s signature after contacting his agent, as Muani is also being tracked by Watford along with Eintracht Frankfurt, RB Leipzig and SC Freiburg in Germany plus Belgian giants Club Brugge.
Muani, an Under 21 international, spent last season on loan in the French third-tier with US Boulogne, for whom he scored three goals and offered five assists over 14 appearances in all competitions.
Muani is on a strong rise after a season playing in the lower reaches of French football, so could be an interesting option for Southampton to pick up in the summer for around £4m as he will only have a year remaining on his contract at Nantes.
The Saints could do with strengthening Ralph Hasenhuttl’s striker options in the off-season after only getting one goal in 27 Premier League appearances from Nathan Redmond this season, while also at risk of losing 12-goal top-scorer Danny Ings (talkSPORT).
Southampton are also allegedly confident in Muani being a success in the Premier League, which would suggest Hasenhuttl is prepared to utilise the 6 ft 1 centre-forward next term and offer supporters hope that their club is not wasting funds.