Southampton: How will takeover impact transfer policy at St. Mary's?

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl

Southampton’s model of buying young players before developing them and selling them on for a profit ‘is not going to change’, according to The Sun journalist Tom Barclay.

The Saints received new owners in January when Serbian-born cable television tycoon Dragan Solak completed a £100 million takeover of the club.

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Solak’s purchase brought an end to the majority ownership of Gao Jisheng, a Chinese businessman who bought an 80 per cent stake in Southampton in 2017, while Katharina Liebherr retains her 20 per cent shareholding.

Traditionally, the south coast club have developed several top-class stars in their own academy before moving them on for significant fees.

The likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers have all risen through the ranks before joining one of English football’s elite sides.

However, in more recent years, Southampton have moved away from that approach, instead appearing to primarily focus on bringing in talented youngsters to the club for minimal fees before improving them and selling them more maximum profit.

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Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren and Sadio Mane have perhaps been the most successful examples of the St. Mary’s outfit’s new approach to player recruitment and development.

The aforementioned trio arrived from Celtic, Lyon and Red Bull Salzburg, respectfully, before moving onto Liverpool, bringing in a combined £129m in transfer fees.

What has Barclay said about Southampton?

Despite the new ownership, though, Southampton failed to make a single acquisition in January, and Barclay has now revealed that the club’s model is not going to differ from the previous regime.

He told GiveMeSport: “The whole model is not going to change. They’re still looking for young players that they can mould and improve, and they will still sell if the price is right; that’s not going to change.”

Who could leave Southampton?

According to Italian outlet CalcioMercato, Tottenham Hotspur could offer either Harry Winks or Cameron Carter-Vickers as a makeweight in a potential deal for Tino Livramento.

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Southampton's Sadio Mane Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien

Can you guess where Sadio Mane began his footballing career?

The right-back only arrived at Southampton last summer in a £5m move from Chelsea and has gone from strength to strength under the tutelage of Ralph Hasenhuttl.

It remains to be seen if Spurs follow up their apparent interest in Livramento with a concrete offer, but it seems as though the Southampton hierarchy are unlikely to block his departure should a suitable bid be submitted.

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