Ambitious Southampton remain in chase of midfield duo

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Southampton have been no strangers to spending big money in the last 12 months, most notably through the £12m club record-breaking capture of Gaston Ramirez.

However, around £7m has also been spent on Jay Rodriguez and Dejan Lovren’s recent arrival from Lyon would certainly have turned a few heads, especially given the reported interest in him from the likes of Inter Milan and Liverpool.

Nicola Cortese has never been short of ambition since becoming Saints chairman and more funds seem to have been made available for new recruits from the Liebherr trust.

Therefore, Lovren is unlikely to be their last head-turning signing of the summer and it is in midfield where the next new face may emerge.

Arsenal and Manchester United have both been linked with Celtic’s Victor Wanyama in recent months, but there are suggestions that he is biding his time before making the big career move to one of Europe’s more high-profile clubs.

A smaller step in between may prove more beneficial to Wanyama’s progress and Southampton appear willing to offer this, as they ready a £10m bid.

Southampton hardly require midfield enforcement or energy with Morgan Schniederlain in the team, but Wanyama would bring some more of this and could be a useful asset in Mauricio Pochettino’s brand of fast-pressing football.

Beyond this some creativity is required and Pochettino will be hoping to get a bit more out of Ramirez this season, while Adam Lallana should improve too for a first Premier League campaign.

But the other name being linked with Southampton is Valencia’s Ever Banega, who would bring international and Champions League experience to St Mary’s.

The chance to work with fellow Argentine Pochettino could be a lure for Banega and a fee of around £8m has reportedly already been tabled.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.