Headlines reporting the new deal Jay Rodriguez has signed at Southampton hinted that the contract extension will end interest from the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City in the player. History suggests that the trio should be far from put off, however.
Having spent the entire season out of action with a cruciate knee ligament injury, that Rodriguez has been offered a new contract is a heart-warming show of faith in his ability by the club, but it also implies they are positioning themselves for a massive payday.
By signing the former Burnley forward up to at least 2019, the Saints have given themselves the best chance possible of receiving top dollar for their man.
That’s exactly what they did with Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw before selling the pair last summer, just a year after capturing their signatures on lengthy contract extensions.
Lallana moved to Liverpool for £25m in June 2014, after penning a new five-year deal the preceding April, while Shaw also received a five-year extension in 2014, only to head to Manchester United for £27m a few days before Lallana.
So, while the Rodriguez deal may scupper Spurs and their rivals’ short-term transfer plans, it just means that patience on any bid is needed.
With the striker, who scored 15 Premier League goals for the 9/4 top-six challengers last season, likely to be so ring rusty after his layoff, waiting to see how the injury affects his play would be a sensible Spurs strategy.
Obviously Mauricio Pochettino knows firsthand what qualities Rodriguez will bring, but there is a lingering doubt as to whether they will be immediately on show when he returns to action.
At least this way, the Lilywhites can continue to monitor their target, perhaps lodging a January bid for the England man should he come back to peak form next term.
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