Southampton: Sport Republic 'will continue' to do one thing at St Mary's

Ralph Hasenhuttl taking charge of a Premier League game for Southampton

Southampton’s mentality towards transfers ‘hasn’t changed’ despite the new ownership at the club, according to The Sun journalist Tom Barclay.

The Saints confirmed the deal in January which sees Sport Republic, a London-based investment firm in the sports and entertainment industry, acquire a controlling stake.

What is the latest news involving Southampton?

Dragan Solak, a Serbian-born cable television tycoon, has ended the majority ownership of Gao Jisheng, a Chinese businessman who bought an 80 per cent stake in Southampton back in 2017.

According to Sky Sports, Solak is understood to be behind a new holding company which will explore offers for clubs in other international leagues, replicating a similar strategy to the one employed by the owners of Manchester City.

However, Southampton remained inactive during the January transfer window, failing to make any additions to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first-team squad.

And club captain and talisman James Ward-Prowse has been heavily linked with a move away from St. Mary’s in recent weeks following an outstanding 2021/22 campaign, indicating their key assets remain available to the top teams.

In the past, Southampton have regularly sold their star players to their more affluent and successful rivals, with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Luke Shaw and Sadio Mane all moving on.

What has Barclay said about Southampton?

Barclay doesn’t believe that Solak’s arrival will change the mindset of Southampton when it comes to buying and selling players and reckons the club’s supporters are ‘pretty realistic’ about that.

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He told GiveMeSport: “I think most Southampton fans are pretty realistic. Ralph Hasenhuttl has said that Southampton will remain effectively a selling club, not that he would sort of express himself in that way.

“But essentially, like a lot of clubs really, if a bid comes in they can’t turn down, they will sell their players. And that hasn’t changed despite the new investment and new ownership.”

Who could Southampton sell?

As previously stated, several clubs have been credited with an interest in Ward-Prowse after he’s registered 10 goals and eight assists in 40 appearances this season.

According to the Daily Mail, Tottenham and Newcastle United are interested in signing the 27-year-old during the upcoming summer transfer window.

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Meanwhile, the Daily Star claim both Manchester United and Manchester City have joined the race for his signature.

It’s believed that Southampton are determined to hold onto Ward-Prowse but would demand a fee in the region of £60 million if they felt compelled to part ways with their prized asset.

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