West Ham United given renewed hope of £25m Thomas Strakosha transfer but face Southampton battle
According to TuttoMercatoWEB, Southampton have emerged as a potential destination for Thomas Strakosha with Lazio considering selling the rumoured West Ham United target.
Strakosha is no longer seen to be Simone Inzaghi’s first-choice option between the sticks at the Stadio Olimpico, after the Albanian lost his place to Pepe Reina and has only featured eight times in the Serie A all season.
The 26-year-old has been recalled to guard the net in two of the Biancocelesti’s last three league games and kept clean sheets against Parma and Torino, but it is unlikely to see him regain a long-term future at the club.
Strakosha is set to enter the final year of his contract in the summer and is noted to have a wealth of admirers, among which are Southampton and Bologna, while Calciomercato have previously claimed that West Ham tried to sign the 15-cap international in January.
Southampton have followed Strakosha’s situation for a number of months now, and are thought to believe the Lazio product would be an appropriate target to strengthen Ralph Hasenhuttl’s options.
Strakosha’s Serie A side have been open to parting with the goalkeeper since the winter market given his refusal to sign a new contract at the Stadio Olimpico (Il Messaggero), and have set a £25million asking price after he gained Borussia Dortmund’s attention.
Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster have both turned in impressive displays for Southampton at times this season, to leave Hasenhuttl convinced that either can guard the Saints net in the Premier League after the latter stood out in the FA Cup on route to the semi-final.
Lukasz Fabianski has often been as reliable as ever for West Ham, too, although the Poland international turned 36 last month to raise the potential for David Moyes to look at signing a younger replacement, especially with Strakosha set to be on the market.
Strakosha is 10 years younger than Fabianski and has previously impressed in the Serie A, even if chances to feature have been rare this season, with the Albanian keeping 10 or more clean sheets in each of his previous three campaigns as the undisputed number one.
But it remains to be seen if either Southampton or West Ham are willing to pay £25m for a player out of contract in a years’ time, with the figure likely to be a club record for the Saints while the Irons only paid more to sign Sebastien Haller and Felipe Anderson (BBC).
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