Southampton: Hasenhuttl confirms Saints will sign attacking replacement

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has confirmed that the club will look to sign an attacker to replace the outgoing Sofiane Boufal in this transfer window.

Boufal has been linked with a move to both Real Betis and Olympiacos and it appears that he no longer has no future at St Mary’s.

The Moroccan’s absence in the three matchday squads this season has produced a distinct lack of attacking options available to Hasenhuttl though and Saints will surely have to pursue a replacement if Boufal’s departure is confirmed.

Speaking to the media recently, Hasenhuttl said:

“I don’t know how close but we are still looking and the market is open. We’ve lost some players to other clubs so if we need to do something then we will.

“You can be sure we know where we have problems, and it’s clear that when Sofiane leaves the club we are looking at this position.” 

Ralph Hasenhuttl of Southampton (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

In terms of links made to wingers so far in this transfer window, there have not been too many overall.

One that has been mentioned in the past is Liverpool man Harry Wilson who has impressed in two loan spells at Derby County and Bournemouth respectively, so it will be interesting to see if these reports resurface with the 23-year-old seemingly not in the plans at Anfield.

A potential problem is the fact that Liverpool want to sell him permanently for around £20m – a fee that would be unrealistic for Saints, who would probably prefer a loan.

Other players mentioned as targets have been Issah Abbas, Milot Rashica and Yoane Wissa but these seem to have died down since the initial reports.

The main area where Saints want to strengthen is central-midfield. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has still not been replaced after departing for Spurs around six weeks ago.

Heavy links were made to USA international Weston McKennie but he chose to join Juventus on loan from parent club Schalke 04.

After recent and upcoming sales, it appears that Saints have recouped just under £20m for unwanted players – a decent amount to bring in two more signings to add to Kyle Walker-Peters and Mohammed Salisu.

Harrison Reed and Mario Lemina were sent to Fulham for a combined £8m in transfer and loan fees, whilst Boufal could depart for around £4m. Fresh reports from Italy suggest Lazio could bring in Wesley Hoedt on loan with a 7.5 million euro option/obligation to buy.