Journalist Tom Barclay insists that Southampton would not be able to compete with Newcastle United if it came down to the two clubs in a straight bidding war for the signature of Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli.
Both clubs have been linked with a potential swoop to sign the former England international, who has struggled immensely for minutes this season.
What’s the latest with Dele?
He appears to be at the centre of something of a saga ahead of the end of the transfer window.
Dele has struggled under both of Spurs’ managers this season, failing to make a real impression under Nuno Espirito Santo and now flattering to deceive under Antonio Conte.
The Italian left him out of his squad for the Premier League clash with Chelsea at the weekend, a game that Spurs lost 2-0.
However, reports have suggested that his absence was due to the prospect of a pending move away from the club, be it either permanently or on loan.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that there is plenty of Premier League interest in a move for Dele this month.
Newcastle have been linked with a swoop after seeing their hopes of landing Jesse Lingard from Manchester United fizzle out, while Saints are also said to be keen on a loan deal, along with Everton and Brighton & Hove Albion.
However, the Telegraph makes it clear that the club that signs Dele on loan will likely have to cover the entirety of his £100,000-per-week wages, and Barclay believes that would be a bridge too far for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men.
Per Spotrac, Theo Walcott is the highest earner at St Mary’s, taking home £75,000-per-week, £25,000 less than the salary his countryman commands.
What has Barclay said?
He told GiveMeSport: “Southampton wouldn’t be able to compete [with Newcastle], if it is £100,000-per-week wages. For the moment, I’m being told that the wages are an issue.”
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Will Saints get him?
It feels unlikely if Newcastle are in town.
We know that the Magpies have an immense amount of financial muscle and they could well flex it in order to strengthen Eddie Howe’s squad.
The club have been pursuing a deal for Lingard throughout the window and the failure to bring him in has opened the door to a move for Dele instead.
They could cover his £100,000-per-week wages quite easily, as they were reportedly prepared to cover Lingard’s £75,000-per-week wages if he was going to move north.
Southampton don’t have the resources to compete with Newcastle, just as Barclay said.