Premier League

Forget Mario: Southampton should rival West Ham for £27m-rated ace instead

Southampton had a busy end of June in the transfer market after signing both Stuart Armstrong and Mohamed Elyounoussi from Celtic and Basel respectively. Manager Mark Hughes will not want to stop there; however, and Inter Milan attacking midfielder Joao Mario could be the next arrival at St. Mary’s.

The Breakdown

According to Stadio Sport, Hughes is interested in bringing in £22.5m-rated Mario to Southampton as he looks to bolster his attacking midfield options.

Mario spent half of last season on loan at West Ham, but the east London club do not appear to be open to the idea of signing the Portugal international on a permanent basis.

Having enjoyed his short spell in English football though, Mario seems intent on leaving Inter Milan for the Premier League, but from a Southampton perspective, other options should probably first be explored.

And one name that is worthy of a mention is £27m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Bruno Fernandes of Sporting Lisbon.

West Ham, according to Sky Sports, have already made a bid for the Portugal international’s services and Southampton should now consider entering the race.

Fernandes scored 11 goals and created a further eight in the Portuguese League last campaign, possessing the type of efficiency in the final third that Southampton have been lacking.

Overall, Fernandes seems the more productive option compared to Mario and if Inter Milan are asking for the £35m plus that some publications such as Football.London are reporting, then Southampton need to pull the plug on any talks and rival West Ham for Fernandes immediately.

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