La Liga

Potential transfer blow for Southampton as unwelcome reports emerge

Southampton supporters in the Transfer Tavern were left reasonably satisfied by their side after seeing the Saints twice come from behind to hold Newcastle United to a 2-2 draw at St Mary’s on Sunday, ending a run of three successive home defeats.

Mauricio Pellegrino’s men went into their clash with the Magpies having succumbed to Wolves, Watford, and Manchester United in their preceding three home clashes, and things didn’t look like getting any better when Isaac Hayden and Ayoze Perez twice put Rafa Benitez’s side ahead at St Mary’s. However, Saints striker Manolo Gabbiadini twice equalised to preserve a much-needed point for the South Coast outfit, although it now means that Pellegrino’s side have won just one of their last six league games, and thus sit 11th in the table.

And there may be slightly further frustration among our resident Southampton fans if a recent report from The Daily Mirror is anything to go by, which details that Ligue 1 side Lille will rival the Saints in pursuit of Barcelona outcast Paco Alcacer.

The 24-year-old made the move to the Nou Camp back in 2016 after a long association with Spanish rivals Valencia, yet has unsurprisingly found it difficult dislodging the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez from Ernesto Valverde’s starting eleven.

In fact, the Spain international has managed just 12 starts for the La Liga heavyweights in the last 14 months or so, and he has mustered a meagre three appearances in all competitions this term, which totals just 122 minutes of action.

And as such speculation has been building about his future at the club, and Southampton are one side who have been regularly linked with Alcacer in the last few months or so, yet recent reports suggest that Lille, currently 16th in Ligue 1, will rival the Saints for his signature.

Yet with the striker reportedly uncertain about moving to the Premier League, the South Coast outfit are going to have to work extremely hard to lure to 24-year-old to St Mary’s.

Landlord’s verdict: Paco Alcacer earned the move to Barcelona last year following an impressive time at Valencia, but it’s one thing earning the move, and another earning regular football at the Nou Camp.

Barca’s plethora of attacking talent has restricted the 24-year-old to just 30 first team appearances for the club, and with just three coming this season, it’s clear he is a fair way down Ernesto Valverde’s pecking order.

And Southampton are seeking to exploit that by expressing an interest, in a bid to bolster their own flagging attacking ranks, yet Lille have also joined the race to place even greater uncertainty in Alcacer’s mind, especially given that he is reportedly unsure about a move to the Premier League.

Ultimately, it would represent quite a coup for the Saints were they to get a deal done, but it seems that the forward needs some convincing to move to England.

Southampton fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!

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