Southampton are reportedly closing in on Newcastle United target Zouhair Feddal. The Moroccan international was a significant part of Spanish side Alaves’ successful season in La Liga last campaign and has become an interesting prospect among mid-table sides all across Europe. His small release clause also remains a prime factor for his huge demand.
The Saints are having a hard time dealing with top clubs this summer, who have every intention of preying upon their star players. Like every season, the South Coast club did bring up some of the fantastic talents in Cedric Soares, Dusan Tadic, Nathan Redmond, Ryan Bertrand and more, who are in increasing demand this summer.
Southampton remains one of those clubs in the Premier League that have cautious this summer period. Apart from the signing of Jan Bednarek from Lech Poznan, the Saints are yet to make any significant addition. And part of that could be their search for a new manager, which ended only a few weeks back.
Despite finishing the side in a respectable eighth position in the league table with 46 points, Claude Puel was sacked at the end of his season owing to his unfriendly relation with the players. The new manager Mauricio Pellegrino definitely has a tough task on his hands.
And it seems as if he is right onto it. The former Alaves manager, who helped finish the side 9th in the La Liga, taking them to the Copa del Rey final before losing to Barcelona, has targeted Feddal. The 27-year-old was a trusted defensive general for Pellegrino back in the La Liga side and the manager is expected to pair him up alongside the star centre-half Virgil van Dijk (if he stays).
Feddal could manage two goals last season, playing 33 times for the club and at 192cm, remains a dangerous threat from aerial duels. He is also known for his brilliant game reading abilities and interceptions. And his arrival could mean the departure for some of the centre-halves currently at St. Mary’s. Southampton, apart from Van Dijk and new buy Bednarek, also have quality options in Maya Yoshida, Jack Stephens and Florin Gardos, and will be well equipped for the next season.
However, Feddal will definitely be an upgrade for the side given the enormous experience he will bring. The 27-year-old has played with a host of clubs that include the likes of RCD Espanyol B, Parma, AC Siena, US Palermo and Levante before Alaves picked him up in 2016.
Although his price of just £2.6million makes it easier for most his suitors to table a bid, which also includes Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion, Pellegrino’s rapport with him could be the difference. So is the right man for the Saints, even if Van Dijk is on his way this summer?
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