Southampton transfer news: Fresh claim emerges on Ralph Hasenhuttl's spending budget

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl claps supporters

Southampton will need to spend more on transfer fees in the future if Ralph Hasenhuttl is going to take the Premier League club to the next level, according to journalist Tom Barclay.

Hasenhuttl has spent much of his time at Southampton battling relegation and the south coast outfit are fighting for survival once again this season. 

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It's tough to dispute that Southampton have moved backwards as a club in recent years. 

During Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman's spells on the south coast, Saints were regularly challenging for - and sometimes obtaining - the Premier League's spots for European qualification. 

Over the last four seasons, however, Saints have finished no higher than eleventh, and while one can point to tactics and inconsistent player performances, financial resources are an unavoidable factor in Premier League rankings these days. 

Hasenhuttl hasn't been given a great deal to work with in that respect. According to Transfermarkt, the Austrian has accumulated a net spend of roughly £58m during his time as Saints boss, spanning across six transfer windows.

That averages out at just shy of £10m net spend per transfer window, which in the grand scheme of Premier League spending habits is pretty nominal. 

And journalist Barclay believes that in order for Hasenhuttl to get Southampton moving in the right direction again, the club need to spend more in the transfer market. 

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What has Tom Barclay said about Southampton's spending?

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT about a potential takeover at St. Mary's, Barclay stated that Hasenhuttl clearly needs more financial backing to elevate Southampton up the table. 

The Sun journalist told GMS: "For Hasenhuttl to take the club to the next level, they do need to be able to spend a bit more on transfer fees because at the moment with every other Premier League club constantly improving - Newcastle will be a prime example, they'll be a forced to be reckoned with in the transfer market - it's just getting ever-harder for Southampton to compete with the relatively limited budget they have."

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Could Southampton have more money to spend in the future?

CEO Martin Semmens recently insinuated that the club are looking for greater long-term financial backing, whether that comes in the form of new investors or a complete takeover. 

He told the Total Saints Podcast: "We want to find a reorganised structure, whether that be a complete change, or a partial change and we've been pretty close to doing it a few times."

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In other words, the current owners are open to selling or diminishing their stake in the club, and one would assume that either arrangement would lead to much more investment in playing personnel. 

How long that process takes and how much any new investors would directly put into the first-team squad, however, still remains to be seen. 

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