Are Saints Ready To Smash Their Transfer Record ?
Monday, 10th Jun 2019 11:29
Saints are being linked with various players across the continent and if some of those rumours are to be believed then Saints are prepared to not only beat their current transfer record but smash it.
I have always maintained that most transfer rumours are merely planted by agents and in some cases the club's themselves to stir up interest in players, not to mention that few deals are ever done before July 1st when loyalty bonuses have been paid.
But it also has to be said that rumours have to be believable, agents are aware of the type of club a player could go to and the price they would be able to afford and indeed willing to pay.
Hence you never hear rumours of Rochdale about to splash out £25 million on a current Dutch international playing in Serie A etc.
The latest one to concern Saints seems to centre around Jean-Philippe Mateta, a 21 year old striker, currently playing for Mainz in the Bundesliga.
Saints and Newcastle are being reported as having made firm offers to Mainz for the Frenchman said to be between £20-25 million, but the German club are in no hurry to sell and are putting it around that £35 million is the minimum bid as they feel that in another year his value will increase to at least that and beyond.
In truth his track record is not really that of a £20 million striker, 2 seasons ago he was on loan at Le Havre from Lyon and a decent season in the second tier of French football saw him transferred to Mainz for £9 million that in itself being around 4 times his estimated value.
Last season he scored 14 goals in 34 appearances in the Bundesliga and his value has soared leading to Newcastle and now allegedly Saints vying for his services.
But are Saints serious about signing him and at £25 million smashing their transfer record or is this just Mainz and his agent trying to link us to the player and push up the value to the £35 million the German club are hoping to get.
I tend to think it is the latter, although I think we will beat the transfer record this summer, I don't think we will smash it, Gao has spoken of the way forward for the club and that is one of evolution not revolution, the long term strategy surrounding the playing side of things has mainly worked over the past 5 years and will not change much, it is the only way we can truly compete, so we have to make it work out of necessity.
Les Reed paid the price mainly for three things, choice of managers, several panic big fee signings and signing some average players on inflated contracts that mean that we will struggle to get rid of them, not just players that came in on transfers but players who came through the academy system who have failed to reach their potential and are still here.
Things are different now, but overall most of the players we signed turned out reasonably well, some took some time to do so, but Nathan Redmond is an example of how we tapped into the potential by signing him, but then failed to develop that potential under a string of managers.
Jean-Philippe Mateta is perhaps the type of player that Saints are looking to sign this summer, but I don't think they will be looking to sign him at £35 million not even £25 million, but the fact he is our type of player is enough for the media to link us with subtle help from the agents.
So far this summer we have already been linked with about 30 players, even a goalkeeper when we already have 3 on the books, several weeks ago we had allegedly had a bid accepted and he was about to have his medical, three weeks later he is still a Fiorentina player and no one seems to be rushing to snap him up at the moment, this perhaps highlights how some rumours have little substance but can get to levels were they appear the truth.
Saints fans need to be patient, I think the club have identified their targets and are making their moves, but they are doing it quietly and under the radar, perhaps the Dragowski rumour was a stalking horse that although not started by Saints they didn't deny so they could do their business elsewhere without interuption.
The real transfer window business will start on July 1st don't hold your breath till then !
Photo: Action Images
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