Southampton set for retaliation bids for Man Utd stars
Southampton (7/4 to finish in the Premier League top 10) are reportedly looking to splash around £70m on new recruits, with Manchester United trio Javier Hernandez, Wilfried Zaha and Ashley Young amongst the targets.
The Saints have gained over £100m in transfer sales this summer, offloading the likes of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers, while Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez could leave too.
On top of those Man Utd targets, new boss Ronald Koeman is also chasing Dutch compatriots Ron Vlaar and Virgil van Dijk, as well as England stopper Fraser Forster. Saints manager Koeman has brought in Dusan Tadic, Graziano Pelle and Ryan Bertrand so far.
It would be a real coup if Southampton were to pull off the signings of those exciting Red Devils trio, with Hernandez in particular a proven poacher and goalscorer.
The lively Mexican has always been a fan favourite at Old Trafford for his dynamism and effort on the pitch, but has featured just sparingly the last couple of seasons. La Liga champions Atletico Madrid (who are also going through a player exodus) have been confirmed suitors of the 26-year-old as well, but it seems the Saints hope to snap him up from under their nose.
Zaha and Young, meanwhile, would suit Southampton’s attacking style very well, and the England international duo will also be hoping to gain more first team football. The former was sent out on loan last term, and Luis van Gaal even admits he doesn’t really fit into his 3-4-1-2 system, while latter has failed to win over Red Devils fans during his spell so far.
However, all three have impressed in United’s pre-season tour of the USA, especially in the recent 3-1 defeat of Real Madrid, which featured Gareth Bale and old boy Cristiano Ronaldo. Young bagged a brace, while Hernandez netted a late header.
Southampton fans face a nervy wait ahead of the new season, in terms of the new recruits they can find, and whether they can all gel in time and move on without their departed stars.
They finished a very credible eighth place last term, but Coral make them 11/2 chances to go down.