Southampton have been offered the chance to sign New York Red Bulls and USA centre-back Aaron Long, according to Sky Sports News.
The 27-year-old – previously of Seattle Sounders – was a target of West Ham last summer but could not get a work permit in order to complete the switch to the Premier League.
However, Long is now eligible for a work permit because he has been playing regularly for the United States, scoring in the 4-1 victory over Canada at the weekend.
Ligue 1 giants Marseille are rumoured to be interested in a January move for Long, who is understood to have a $6m (£4.6m) release clause at NY Red Bulls.
Southampton could swoop for him, though, as they desperately try to tighten up their defence to avoid relegation to the Championship this term.
Should Southampton push the Sam Allardyce button?
Yes, staying up is all that matters
Absolutely not, I'd rather go down
The Saints have the worst defensive record in the top flight this season, having conceded 29 times in just 12 matches. They were thumped 9-0 by Leicester last month and have kept just two clean sheets since the campaign began in early-August (per Soccerway).
Long scored twice in 24 league appearances for NY Red Bulls last term (via Transfermarkt) and has now established himself as a regular starter for the US national side – making his 15th appearance for his country on Saturday, where he scored his third international goal.
Southampton definitely need to prioritise defensive reinforcements when the January window opens at the start of next year, with Long a decent potential new arrival going off his age, performances for NY Red Bulls and price-tag.
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