Southampton close in on Wanyama and bigger name may follow

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Southampton have certainly set the bar high in terms of their transfer targets this summer, but although they look to have lost out to Napoli in the chase for Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao, Victor Wanyama is on the cusp of signing from Celtic.

The Saints look one of the more tempting bets to finish in the top half of the Premier League next season at 9/5 and a few high-profile recruits, alongside some home wins against opposition of a similar level would make them likely to achieve this feat.

Leaving aside the top seven, Southampton only won three games at St Mary’s against clubs to finish eighth or lower last season and still only missed out on making the top 10 by five points.

Chairman Nicola Cortese is not holding back in the transfer market, with early links to Valencia and Argentina midfielder Ever Banega and Damiao, who has been long-time admired by Tottenham.

These two deals now look unlikely, but the capture of Wanyama would still represent a huge statement of intent.

Personal terms appear to have already been agreed and the Kenyan FA have indicated that a deal has already been confirmed, for in the region of £12.5m.

Wanyama has been highly coveted by the likes of Man Utd in the past, particularly after starring against Barcelona in the Champions League last season, but the decision has been made to further his development at a slightly lesser level first before moving to a top-four club.

The 22-year-old would look an ideal fit into Mauricio Pochettino’s high-energy, pressing game and it is doubtful that he will be the last signing of the summer at St Mary’s.

One growing link is with Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo, who is undoubtedly talented but also somewhat of a troubled soul.

This would be a monumental coup and perhaps even eclipse Wanyama in terms of its impressiveness.

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.