Southampton set to battle with Leeds for Premier League outcast

Despite the poor relations that now exist between Southampton and Burnley, the Saints still want to sign Manuel Benson, but now Leeds United have joined the race.
Rotherham United v Burnley - Sky Bet Championship
Rotherham United v Burnley - Sky Bet Championship / Matt McNulty/GettyImages

As Saints Marching had reported earlier, Southampton seemed out of the race for Burnley's Manuel Benson. Both clubs had still been on sour terms after negotiations for the permanent transfer of Nathan Tella to Turf Moof fell apart, with the now Nigeria international heading to Germany's Bayer Leverkusen.

Comments from Hull City's Liam Rosenior hinted that maybe Benson was close to signing for the Tigers but Hull City ultimately added Liverpool's Fabio Carvalho on loan.

Manuel Benson has still not found a January move and remains frozen out of Vincent Kompany's squad at Burnley. With Southampton still searching for their Nathan Tella replacement since this past summer, it looks as though the club could be circling back on talks to sign the Belgian.

Sacha Tavolieri is reporting that Southampton have submitted 'an improved offer' to Burnley to bring in Benson on loan for the remainder of the season with an option to purchase. Tavaloieri states that Benson is pushing for the move, which should come as no surprise given the winger has had little gametime this season.

Much like Southampton's interest in David Brooks, Leeds United is also eyeing up a move for Benson, per Sacha Tavolieri again. Leeds could sell Swiss international Wilfried Gnonto to Premier League outfit West Ham United this window and see Benson as Gnonto's direct and priority replacement.

Southampton would surely have an edge over Leeds United regarding expectations for playtime but will their broken relationship with Burnley put them behind Leeds? Time will soon answer that question for us.

Manuel Benson has played in just four Premier League matches for Burnley, with one start. The 26-year-old dealt with an injury earlier this season but has since returned to training for Burnley. With still four years left on his contract, the Clarets will surely demand a high buy option should he leave this winter transfer window.