The lowdown: Bednarek on the move?
However, the Poland international has been heavily linked with a move away from St Mary’s this month, and Aston Villa are seemingly the main protagonists after reported interest from West Ham and Leicester subsided.
It now appears as though that move could be edging closer, following a fresh transfer report…
The latest: Agreement reached
It’s claimed that Villa ‘submitted a loan-to-buy offer’ for Bednarek and have ‘made progress’ on the transfer over the last 24 hours.
The report also states that the Pole – who has been dubbed ‘amazing’ by Ralph Hasenhuttl – has ‘agreed personal terms’ and the parties are ‘increasingly confident’ that a deal can be struck.
The verdict: Replacement required?
Should Bednarek leave, as now seems likely, the Saints could well be tempted to re-enter the transfer market to sign a replacement centre-back.
As things stand, Hasenhuttl will be left with Lyanco, Mohammed Salisu, Jack Stephens and Armel Bella-Kotchap as his centre-back options, which may seem like sufficient cover but could look threadbare if any of those were to get injured for a lengthy period.
However, having featured in the opening two games of the season and started 30 or more league matches in each of the past three campaigns, Hasenhuttl clearly still had Bednarek as part of his plans and therefore may look to add another option to the ranks at St Mary’s.
The Poland defender was one of the Saints’ most crucial players, too – in 2021/22, he posted the squad’s fifth-highest WhoScored rating, made more interceptions and clearances than any of his team-mates and ranked second for aerial duels won, highlighting his no-nonsense defensive nature.
Valued at £19.8m and under contract until 2025 (Transfermarkt), Southampton should at least be able to reap a significant fee if they do sell the 26-year-old to Aston Villa, making a tidy profit on him in the process.
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