Southampton have reportedly been engaged in lengthy transfer discussions with Barcelona in a bid to strike a deal for defender Junior Firpo.
According to Spanish outlet Sport – detailed by Sports Witness – Saints and the Catalan giants have been “talking for days” and are potentially quite close to an agreement.
A potential problem could be the transfer fee demanded by Barcelona. They are said to want around €16m plus add-ons to ensure they make at least some profit from the situation, whilst Saints are targeting deals of £10m or less this summer if they can find the right players (via Hampshire Live).
As Saints look for full-backs who can play on both sides of the defence, Firpo is perhaps an ideal player given that he has played right-back and left-back throughout his career.
Will Southampton be an attractive option to a player of this calibre
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A look at Sport’s report reveals that West Ham are also in the mix for Firpo and this is where the situation could become complex for Saints to deal with.
The Hammers have Europa League football confirmed for next season and will have more finance available than Saints whilst also offering a crack at Europe for potential signings.
There are, of course, some attractions to making the switch to St Mary’s too. The left-back spot is open with Ryan Bertrand’s departure on a free transfer and this could see Firpo step straight into a first-choice role.
The dynamic style of play is also something that shows potential and could see Saints have some success next season if they get things right this summer. Barcelona’s current manager is Ronald Koeman too and he will be able to give some positive views on his time with Saints.
A similar player to Junior Firpo – a right-footed left-back by trade – is Manchester United’s Brandon Williams and Saints are still said to be interested in a deal for him after failing to get him in the last two transfer windows (via the Athletic).