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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

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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.          

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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Southampton

Five ins and outs Southampton could complete this week

A new striker is reportedly a top priority for Mark Hughes’ side.

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Photo: Getty Images

After narrowly avoiding relegation from the Premier League last season, pressure is on Mark Hughes as Southampton look to climb the standings in 2018-19.

The Saints have already bolstered their ranks with the captures of Jannik Vestergaard, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Angus Gunn and Stuart Armstong but continue to be active in the market in pursuit of further additions.

With finances delicately poised, exits from the south coast are also likely and the upcoming week could prove to be a busy one for Southampton. Here, we have identified five reported deals that could go ahead.

Danny Ings: Liverpool

After an injury-plagued spell at Liverpool, Danny Ings is seen as surplus to requirements for Jurgen Klopp ahead of the new season and Southampton have emerged as candidates to land the services of the 25-year-old forward.

The Sun states Liverpool want £20m for the striker’s services but Southampton are prepared to only offer half of that figure, with additions based around his appearances and performances – although they face competition in the market from Crystal Palace.

Hughes is looking to bolster his attacking options ahead of the new campaign and Ings could be the ideal signing if he puts his injury problems behind him.

(Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)

Fraser Forster leaving on-loan

England international Fraser Forster could be leaving the St. Mary’s Stadium following the club’s signing of Angus Gunn from Manchester City, as the 22-year-old is expected to become first-choice for Southampton next term.

The Daily Mail state the Saints are prepared to offload the 30-year-0ld and may ask the former Celtic man to leave on-loan, with the same paper claiming Forster was previously a target for Leeds United before the Lilywhites signed Jamal Blackman from Chelsea.

Unnamed Premier League sides are said to be interested in Forster, who last played for Southampton in the 5-2 defeat to Tottenham on Boxing Day.

Andrea Petagna: Atalanta

Another reported striking target for Southampton, it could be possible that the Saints sign two more strikers before the close of the transfer window – especially if the first player through the door is the injury-prone Danny Ings.

Tuttomercatoweb first reported Southampton’s interest in Atalanta striker Andrea Petagna at the end of June and rumours surrounding the 23-year-old striker continue to float around, though he is also a target for newly-promoted Wolves.

With four goals and five assists in Serie A last season, Petagna is hardly the most prolific striker but could present a decent option for Southampton.

(Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Sam Gallagher to Sheffield United or Blackburn

The Sun on Sunday (July 15, page 59) state both Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers are interested in the services of Southampton striker Sam Gallagher, who looks poised to leave if Mark Hughes secures a deal for a new forward.

22-year-old Gallagher previously enjoyed a successful loan stint with Blackburn in the season before last and has a total of 17 goals in 89 Championship appearances, 11 of which came for Blackburn in the 2016-17 campaign.

However, a deal for the two second-tier clubs could be difficult to negotiate on a permanent basis due to his reported £24k-a-week wages.

Iago Falque: Torino

Another forward target for Southampton, Tuttosport have named the Saints as one of numerous clubs interested in the services of Torino attacker Iago Falque alongside West Ham, Leicester, Sevilla and Valencia.

Now 28, the former Tottenham man has got his career back-on-track in Italian football and has become a crucial player for Torino, scoring 12 goals in 35 appearances last season – adding to the 12 he netted in the previous year on-loan in Turin from Roma.

Torino, understandably, do not want to lose the services of one of their top performers and it could take a considerable offer to begin negotiations with the Serie A side.

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Southampton

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.

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Southampton
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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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

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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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