Five to step in for Morgan Schneiderlin at Southampton
Rumours abound that Southampton midfield shield Morgan Schneiderlin is close to completing a switch away from St Mary’s, with the Frenchman looking increasingly likely to land at one of Arsenal (25/1 with Coral to win the Champions League) or Manchester United (20/1) this summer.
Reports suggest Saints coach Ronald Koeman is readying a replacement, but who could the Dutchman convince to arrive on the south coast to cover the loss of Schneiderlin’s skill-set? Here are five potential signings for Southampton…
Yohan Cabaye (PSG)
Schneiderlin’s compatriot Cabaye could be the ideal choice to provide some deep-lying guile next to Victor Wanyama’s muscle, and ensure the Saints retain some continental composure in the middle of the park as they take on a Europa League adventure.
Koeman could face significant competition for the string-puller, with Crystal Palace and West Ham United just two of the clubs reportedly keen to capture the experienced former Newcastle United schemer.
Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord)
Netherlands international Clasie is tipped as being top of former Feyenoord boss Koeman’s list, for a mooted fee of £13m, and the Dutchman would be wise to reunite with the talented Clockwork Orange orchestrator.
Conductor Clasie seems ready to move on to the next level is his career and, able to contribute at both ends of the pitch, the midfielder’s mobility, tenacity and ability to pick out a defence-splitting pass should see him suit the Premier League to a tee.
A potential bargain buy at around £7m, the powerful midfielder, still just 25, was an inspiration for Lille last term, and could man the south coast club’s engine-room for many campaigns to come.
Alex Song (Barcelona)
Song seems certain to depart the Nou Camp this summer, after the former Arsenal midfield general excelled on his return to England on loan with West Ham United.
Though the combative ex-Cameroon international may opt for a stay in London, Saints (12/1 for a top four finish) should consider splashing out on defensive shield Song, whose ability on the ball and reading of the game could make for a strong partnership with instinctive Wanyama.
Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Basel-born Switzerland international Xhaka is one of the brightest talents in the Bundesliga, and has everything in his locker to one day succeed in England for a true title contender.
One to snap-up before his price tag rockets, 22-year-old is much more than a just a box-to-box ball-winner, and his vision and precise passing could help Southampton dominate and dictate many a Premier League competitor.