Southampton manager Mauricio will wonder what has gone wrong at St Mary’s this season, with the hapless Saints languishing towards the foot of the Premier League table.
The south coast side had established themselves as a perennial mid-table side since their promotion to the top flight, but the club find themselves in serious risk of suffering the ignominy of relegation this season. The £75 million sale of want-away defender Virgil van Dijk has provided the club with the required funds to begin to move away from the bottom-three, and the Argentine boss is expected to utilise the funds to improve his squad this month. Fans here in The Transfer Tavern expect a big three weeks, with a number of areas within the squad in need of attention. Our landlord caught up with the St Mary’s bunch over a game of pool this week, with the transfer window the top item on the agenda. Conversation swayed to and fro around where the money should be spent, but the general consensus is that a striker should be the top priority.
The likes of Shane Long and Manolo Gabbiadini have struggled this term, with the Saints scoring just twenty-one goals in the league this season. Changes are needed, and our landlord couldn’t help but suggest a swoop for Norwich City man, Nelson Oliveira. The Portuguese striker harbours ambitions of making the national squad ahead of the World Cup in Russia this summer, and will hope to be on the plane to Eastern Europe alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and co. A Premier League move should seal that spot, and the player will certainly be keen on a switch. The Canaries are struggling in mid-table in the second tier, and appear likely to sell Alex Pritchard to Huddersfield Town this month. Pellegrino will hope to jump on uncertainty at the club, and an offer for the player should go in immediately.
Oliveira, rated at just £4.5m on Transfermarkt, possesses Premier League quality, and if Pellegrino can convince Norwich to sell, the Saints will begin to climb the top flight table.
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