Southampton have sent club scouts to Porto and Benfica games in Portugal and seemingly see the country as a potential hotbed of talent.
Independent journalist Melissa Reddy confirmed last week via Twitter that Saints were one of many teams to have representatives in the stands for Benfica’s 3-0 Champions League win over Benfica, whilst Portuguese newspaper A Bola (via Sports Witness) reported on Monday that the club’s scouts were also present to see Porto’s Liga Nos victory against Pacos de Ferreira last weekend.
It remains unclear which players are being looked at but it certainly seems that Saints see the talent currently playing in Portugal as interesting for future transfer windows.
Successful moves have been seen between Portuguese clubs and Premier League outfits in the past, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes both signed from Sporting Lisbon by Manchester United. Wolves also have a first-team squad full of players from the likes of Porto and Benfica who have sustained their status as a stable Premier League club.
What route are Southampton taking with Portugal scouting?
Portuguese giants Benfica, Porto and Sporting Lisbon have always produced high-quality young talent and there are some youngsters who will be attracting interest right now.
Luis Diaz of Porto and Darwin Nunez of Benfica in particular could be two names who Southampton are tracking in particular – both young and with good scoring records for their respective sides.
As seen by the list of 35 teams scouting Benfica though, there is clearly a lot of competition for the signatures of these players. Signings from Portugal have also typically commanded significant transfer fees in the past.
In actual fact, Saints could take a number of routes into the Portuguese market. There are young players of huge potential but also more experienced pros who will provide fantastic options in a Premier League squad.
Darwin Nunez has been loosely linked with Saints in the past, whilst Nuno Tavares was a full-back mentioned as a target for the club back in the summer before he joined Arsenal.