Southampton are reportedly one of four Premier League clubs looking to sign Schalke 04 striker Matthew Hoppe.
According to a report from 90min.de, Saints have joined Spurs, Wolves and Newcastle in the race to bring in highly-rated 20-year-old.
There is certainly scope for a striker signing at St Mary’s this summer with limited options behind Danny Ings and Che Adams. Michael Obafemi and Shane Long could move on before the start of the season.
Schalke were relegated from the Bundesliga in 2020/21 and this could make a deal easier to secure for other clubs, although the German giants will be wanting Hoppe to be around to fire them back to the top-flight at the first time of asking.
Matthew Hoppe fits Southampton transfer ideals
Whilst his team were struggling, Hoppe provided some bright sparks last season to provide Schalke fans with at least some excitement.
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24 senior appearances during the last campaign yielded six goals which included a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over Hoffenheim back in January – not huge numbers overall but above average in an otherwise dreadful season.
Hoppe still has maybe six or seven years before he reaches his peak years and teams like Saints will be looking to see if there are enough promising attributes to see him develop into a top quality player.
Ralph Hasenhuttl will be looking for talent that he can mould into a special team unit and young players are perfect for this given that they can learn new systems quicker.
Being American too, a move would provide some added extras off the field. Football, or “Soccer”, is regarded as the fastest growing sport in the USA and supporters will be following the careers of their own players with great interest. This could mean more interest in a club like Saints if they were to sign an American player.
Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic is seen as one of the poster boys for the US game right now and a similar story has played out with him, meaning that a player of real potential like Hoppe could become of equal stature in the future.