Southampton could pay up to £25m to sign new striker at St Mary’s

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl on the touchline

Southampton could look to sign a striker from one of the Premier League’s top clubs this summer, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook when speaking to GiveMeSport prior to the agreed deal for Sekou Mara.

The Saints are in need of more firepower after Mara as per Ralph Hasenhuttl’s comments following the 0-0 draw with Watford on Saturday, and Crook says they could potentially be prepared to pay around £20-25m to one of the top sides in England’s top flight.

Indeed, that opinion has been further backed up after Fabrizio Romano reported on Saturday that the south coast outfit had a £16m bid for Manchester City’s Liam Delap rejected.

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What is the latest transfer news involving Southampton?

Southampton are close to signing Bordeaux striker Mara in a boost to Ralph Hasenhuttl.

The Austrian has seen Armando Broja return to Chelsea after a successful loan spell and Shane Long depart on a free transfer, leaving the Saints a bit light up front.

At present, Che Adams and Adam Armstrong are the only two centre-forwards in Southampton’s squad, which will be a concern.

Last season, Hasenhuttl mostly used a 4-4-2 formation, so he needs options up front, especially given Armstrong’s struggles.

The 25-year-old scored just two goals in the Premier League following his move from Blackburn Rovers the previous summer.

What has Crook said about Southampton’s transfer plans?

Crook can see Southampton making a move for a striker at one of English football’s elite clubs and thinks they would potentially be prepared to pay up to £25m.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the talkSPORT reporter said: “I think there could be a £20-25m deal. They’ve got a few names on their list. I think maybe even from some of the bigger clubs in the Premier League.

“They’re just waiting to see whether some of the fringe players at United and maybe Chelsea etc feature once they’ve been on their pre-season tours.”

Who could Southampton sign?

In Hasenhuttl’s ideal world, Broja would probably be back at St Mary’s. Last term, the 54-year-old often expressed his desire for the Saints to sign him permanently.

“Sure, he likes it here,” the Southampton manager said back in January when asked if he would request for Broja to be bought this summer.

“He loves it here. It would be great if he was our player, he wants to be with us I think, you can feel this in every moment and the fans love him.”

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The Albania international returning to Southampton looks unlikely, though, with Thomas Tuchel stating that he does not expect him to leave Chelsea.

As well as Broja, Man City youngster Delap is another No.9 Hasenhuttl appears to rate.

According to The Athletic, Southampton tried to sign him on a permanent deal earlier this month but saw their approach knocked back with City preferring a loan move. Up their bid, however, and perhaps next time could be a different story.