Southampton trying to drive down loan fee for long-term defensive target

Southampton are reportedly trying to drive down the £2m loan fee that Manchester United are demanding for the signing of defender Brandon Williams.

This is according to a report from the Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell, who also claims that Saints are still confident of eventually agreeing a deal with talks still ongoing.

Williams has been a Saints target since January and it appears that the club are still keen to bring him in to provide some quality competition at both full-back positions.

Having had just 658 minutes of first-team action at Old Trafford last season, Williams is unlikely to be key to United’s plans for 2021/22 and would surely benefit from regular Premier League football.

Manchester United’s Brandon Williams (L) (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Southampton within their rights to haggle on Williams price

Some people may be thinking that £2m is not a lot for a Premier League club to spend on a loan deal when they have revenues that dwarf that figure each year.

However, Saints are surely well within their rights to try and get this reduced. £2m for just one season of games is fairly sizeable when you take into account that Williams is not a key player at United, Saints will be helping out by developing the 20-year-old’s game and that his performances are unlikely to have a bearing on United’s own situation.

By what is included in Laurie Whitwell’s report, Saints are still close to an agreement with United. Surely a compromise is the best option here for both clubs and the player.

If there is a breakdown in talks, there are other alternatives that those at St Mary’s may turn to. Nico Williams of Liverpool is a similar player and has been linked in the past, whilst Nuno Tavares and Junior Firpo were mentioned as potential targets before joining Arsenal and Leeds respectively.

The beginning of the Premier League season is just under a month away and Ralph Hasenhuttl will be hoping to see his squad in good shape in the lead up to Saints’ opening clash with Everton on 14th August.