⚽ 🔃 The Summer 2023 Transfer Thread

Let’s get this started with a no shit Sherlock rumour :-

Southampton have told midfielder James Ward-Prowse, 28, he can leave in the summer if the club is relegated. Tottenham , West Ham and Newcastle are all interested in the England international. (Talksport)

These 2 made I larf as well :-

Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane, 29, is Paris St-Germain’s top attacking target this summer. (Le Parisien - in French, subscription required)

The Liverpool board have prepared and approved a contract for Chelsea’s England midfielder Mason Mount, 24. (Football Insider)

Lampard’s taking over at Liverpool then? :thinking::grin:

Mind you he’s been at Southampton since he was eight, so 20 years. He’s probably institutionalised - a bit like MLT.


Any takers? Not for me.

1 Like

Explains why Bazunu hasn’t been dropped.


Best place for this - where is our next manager coming from?
I’m assuming Selles will not be considered, or there may be riots in the streets.
Not sure who’s available, and in the current climate at St Mary’s, not sure who would want to come here.
This leaves the probable choice of a young ambitious manager (hopefully this time some thought and investigation will go into the choice!).
Anyone who shouts out “Jesus loves me, I can do this job, as im the best

Phil Parkinson
But we won’t get him

Continued…….best in Europe will not be considered.

Big Sam

Potter would the right call for us - if he could accept the drop in league he could build a team from the ground up - and we would probably come straight back up


I’d prefer Guardiola.


We might end up with Gerrard :scream: :scream:

I was near Staplewood again this morning, managed to get another video of our first team in training. :+1::+1::+1:

That was Adam Armstrong through on goal there. I tried to get his autograph, but he missed the book.


At least he touched it?


Anyone have a paywall sledge hammer?

Southampton squad audit: Who goes? Who stays?

By Jacob Tanswell

7h ago


Southampton’s state of flux shows no signs of ending ahead of another summer of reset.

Having brought in 15 players over the previous two windows, leading to a distortedly large squad, there is a sense of uncertainty regarding which players will leave at the end of the season. In light of Southampton’s position at the bottom of the Premier League, the landscape is ominous and Championship football appears on the horizon.

Key players, such as Mohammed Salisu, have already started to pre-empt their next steps.

Here, The Athletic explains the situation of every member of the Southampton squad and who supporters can expect to stay or leave during summer…

Goalkeepers x 3

Gavin Bazunu (contract expires 2027)

Bazunu has endured a turbulent campaign, to say the least. At 21 years old and having never played higher than League One, he has been taught some harsh lessons. The Republic of Ireland international has the lowest save percentage in the league (54 per cent) and kept the fewest clean sheets (four).

There is a feeling from sources close to Bazunu, speaking anonymously to protect relationships, and from the club, that he is expected to grow as a result of this season. Off the pitch, Bazunu has settled well in Hampshire after buying a house.

Willy Caballero (contract expires 2023)

Caballero is one of three players whose contracts are expiring in the summer. He has become a quasi-coach at Southampton, with the ear of manager Ruben Selles. A popular member of the team, he is viewed as an experienced figure who enhances the standards of the goalkeeping group, works well with coach Andrew Sparkes and influences the dressing room. At 41 years old, the decision will rest with him as to whether he wants to continue.

Alex McCarthy (contract expires 2024)

McCarthy’s future is uncertain, having spent most of the campaign behind Bazunu in the pecking order and only starting his first league game in April. The 33-year-old is Southampton’s second-highest-paid player behind James Ward-Prowse after signing a new three-year deal in 2021.

As part of his contract, his salary would decrease in his final year if he did not play a certain amount of games this season. However, the drop in wages is not believed to be significant.

Former boss Nathan Jones knew McCarthy from their time together at Yeovil Town in the 2009-10 season, and McCarthy would have replaced Bazunu after Southampton’s 3-1 defeat to Brighton on Boxing Day, when Bazunu was at fault for Adam Lallana’s first-half header. McCarthy, though, picked up a hip injury and was ruled out for the next two months.

Numerous Premier League sides are interested in McCarthy next season and there is a growing feeling he will look for a fresh start elsewhere.

Callum Wilson takes the ball past Alex McCarthy to score for Newcastle (Photo: Stu Forster via Getty Images)

Full-backs x 6

Kyle Walker-Peters (contract expires 2025)

Walker-Peters changed representation last year, moving from YMU Sport to CAA Stellar and joining close friend Dele Alli’s agent and brother, Harry Hickford. Walker-Peters, 26, fulfilling the homegrown quota plus his aptitude to play in both full-back positions makes him an attractive proposition for Premier League sides.

Several suitors have continued to monitor the defender after talks regarding a new contract at St Mary’s stalled last summer. Everton were interested but financial restraints and league position made a move ambitious, while Manchester United and Arsenal kept tabs. With two years left of his deal, it is the optimal time for Southampton to sell.

Tino Livramento (contract expires 2026)

Livramento is getting back up to speed after a year out with an ACL injury. Still only 20, the focus for the England youth international is on playing regularly for the first team. Livramento is appreciative of the work Southampton’s support staff and physios have done with him behind the scenes and, irrespective of Chelsea’s £38million buy-back clause kicking in this summer, wants to concentrate on repaying the faith the club have shown in him.

James Bree (contract expires 2026)

Following a cut-price move from Luton Town, adding to the small group of Jones lieutenants in the dressing room, Bree recognised the challenge he faced to stay in the matchday squad. Once Jones, his biggest advocate, was sacked, 25-year-old Bree has cut a largely peripheral figure playing for the B team. Still, he was a low-cost, low-risk signing and is viewed as a good character and one of the few, pertinently, who has Championship experience.

Romain Perraud (contract expires 2025)

There have been early discussions about a move to continental Europe and privately the left-back has received interest from the Bundesliga. Although Perraud suffered a long-term ankle injury against Bournemouth, two unnamed Premier League teams have been mooted as possible destinations, with the 25-year-old wanting to stay in Europe’s top divisions.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is pulled back by Tottenham’s Harry Kane (Photo: Mike Hewitt via Getty Images)

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (loan expires at the end of the season)

As revealed by The Athletic, Southampton no longer have the option to buy Maitland-Niles, with the 25-year-old set to be a free agent in the summer. Parent club Arsenal decided against extending his contract for a further year, meaning Maitland-Niles is free to hold talks with interested parties.

Maitland-Niles says he “would be happy to stay” if Southampton made him an offer to join permanently, but much will depend on what league they are in next season and if discussions with other clubs advance.

Juan Larios (contract expires 2027)

Larios has acclimatised well to life on the south coast and is surprisingly fond of the British weather. The plan has been for family members, such as his stepfather, Dani, to frequently commute between the family home in Seville and Southampton. At 19 years old, Southampton have been cautious in his early development, mindful that he is relatively slight and needs to improve his physicality.

Progress of any kind has been stunted after difficulties in recovering from a hamstring tear sustained in November. Larios could only manage 12 minutes when he returned for the B team four months later and is out for the rest of the season. The aim is to return to full fitness later this year and work his way into first-team plans.

Centre-backs x 6

Lyanco (contract expires 2025)

Lyanco’s future will only be discussed at the end of the season despite the player’s representatives fielding concrete interest from a side in Europe and in his homeland of Brazil in January. Southampton rejected those proposals then but could be open to Lyanco, 26, moving on now, with the centre-back mostly out of the starting XI since Jones’ sacking.

Jan Bednarek (contract expires 2025)

Bednarek’s standing at Southampton is far better than last season due to somewhat of a renaissance. His reputation, which had reached rock-bottom after he called loan side Aston Villa a “bigger club”, has been rebuilt, showing discernible commitment to the relegation cause. Bednarek, 27, is regarded as a leader by Selles and though sometimes a tricky character, his effort levels are undeniable. The Poland international still has two years left on his contract and even if there is expected interest from sides in Europe, Southampton would do well to keep him.

Jack Stephens (contract expires 2024)

Stephens has enjoyed a successful loan spell at south coast neighbours Bournemouth, gradually becoming an assertive, key member of the side. The 29-year-old is very happy working under Gary O’Neil and willing to commit to a permanent move.

The issue will centre on whether Bournemouth would be prepared to pay a fee for him when they have talented 20-year-old Ukranian centre-back Illya Zabarnyi, who is a great source of excitement internally and is anticipated to be part of a first-choice defence next season. This would mean Stephens likely finds himself as a squad option, contrary to what would likely be if he stays at Southampton. Selles says he would like Stephens to return in pre-season.

Armel Bella-Kotchap (contract expires 2026)

Despite injuries, Bella-Kotchap has enjoyed a positive season overall, breaking into the German national set-up and becoming one of the first picks under Ralph Hasenhuttl and Selles (Jones did not necessarily share such sentiments). Bella-Kotchap is only 21 and will be one of the players Southampton can make a substantial profit on after signing him for just £8.5million ($10m) from VfL Bochum.

Interest from Europe’s bigger clubs has been mooted and will only intensify in the approaching months. He was left out of the squad for the 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth because Selles judged him “not ready to perform”.

Mohammed Salisu (contract expires 2024)

Complications with Salisu’s representation delayed contract negotiations over a year ago. Salisu, 24, then made it clear he preferred to wait until the end of the season before deciding whether to commit to a new contract — which looks increasingly unlikely — or push to leave.

There have been increasing doubts regarding his commitment and recovery from a hip adductor injury, picked up during the international break. He is a notable example of certain players who have factored in the threat of relegation in contract negotiations and intend to assess the lay of the land at the end of the season.

Mohammed Salisu talks to his team-mates during the Carabao Cup match against Manchester City (Photo: Michael Steele via Getty Images)

Duje Caleta-Car (contract expires 2026)

Caleta-Car has been a bit-part figure this season, fluctuating between starting, being on the bench or left out of the squad altogether. Caleta-Car, 26, may benefit from inevitable player turnover this summer, however, with the future of the other five centre-backs in doubt. The Croatian has three years left on his contract.

Midfielders x 5

James Ward-Prowse (contract expires 2026)

Ward-Prowse is the highest-paid player in the club’s history, earning in the region of £100,000 a week. The captain is widely viewed as Southampton’s only consistent player and leader due to his attitude and approach — even in the face of relegation — but he has been open to a move away for a while.

At 28 years old, it is the right time, and there is an expectation he will leave and the club will not stand in his way, provided they are content with the fee.

Ibrahima Diallo (contract expires 2024)

Diallo hasn’t made an impact since arriving in 2020 and is now out of the squad altogether. With a year left on his deal, Southampton will be open to offers for the 24-year-old midfielder.

Will Smallbone (contract expires 2024)

This year has essentially been his first full season, with his loan spell at Stoke City establishing confidence and clarity in his career. Stoke would ideally like to keep Smallbone, 23, for another season but, tellingly, Southampton are looking to extend his contract, which expires in 2024. That suggests he could play a bigger role upon his return.

Romeo Lavia (contract expires 2027)

Nineteen-year-old Lavia will fetch the most money of any Southampton player this summer and turn a significant profit on the £10million they paid for him nearly a year ago, even with a sizeable sell-on percentage to Manchester City.

Numerous Premier League sides have held informal talks and scouts, who have been in attendance over the past month at St Mary’s, have left impressed. City’s £40million buy-back clause (which will be less than that figure due to their own sell-on clause) will come into play next summer, so it would make sense for Southampton to cash in on him in the upcoming window.

Romeo Lavia, probably Southampton’s most desired player (Photo: Michael Steele via Getty Images)

Carlos Alcaraz (contract expires 2027)

Limited English means Alcaraz can only say a handful of words to team-mates yet he is happy and comfortable living in Ocean Village since joining from Racing Club in January. His preference is to stay where he is settled, even in the face of relegation, which is more important than another move.

Alcaraz is the only one of five January signings who has made an immediate impact, scoring three times and adapting well to Selles’ pressing triggers. The pair converse in Spanish, which has helped the 20-year-old adjust to moving outside of Argentina for the first time.

Attacking midfielders/wingers x 9

Moussa Djenepo (contract expires 2025)

Djenepo was handed a two-year extension earlier in the season after impressing in pre-season and filling in at full-back. There was a feeling at the time that the new deal was premature and would dissuade potential suitors this summer. Djenepo, 24, has since been in and out of the team and squad, scoring one goal in all competitions and remaining frustratingly inconsistent.

Theo Walcott (contract expires 2023)

No talks have taken place between Southampton and Walcott over a new 12-month deal. Walcott’s current contract expires in June, but the attacker is keen to keep playing regularly and will sit down with the board at the end of the campaign. Walcott, 34, has come in from the cold under Selles due to his experience.

Stuart Armstrong (contract expires 2024)

Following an injury-blighted campaign punctuated by a stomach problem, a decision over the 31-year-old’s long-term future should happen soon. The Scotland international’s experience may be useful next season, but questions over his availability could lead to Southampton being prepared to let him go if the right offer comes in.

Mohamed Elyounoussi (contract expires 2023)

Around this time last year, Elyounoussi told Norweigan outlet TV2 he was in “dialogue” over a new contract. Those discussions have proven protracted, with the 28-year-old midfielder’s deal set to expire on June 30. Regular reports that an extension was close have been misplaced, with Elyounoussi struggling for form, goal contributions and being frequently maligned by supporters.

All three managers have endorsed Elyounoussi’s defensive acumen, which, in some ways, encapsulates Southampton’s travails. Worryingly, Elyounoussi has had the most shots of any player in the Premier League without scoring (32). All parties are considering their options before deciding whether to renew.

Mohamed Elyounoussi played against Chelsea in February (Photo: Justin Setterfield via Getty Images)

Mislav Orsic (contract expires 2025)

Orsic has played just once in the Premier League since signing in January. Unless the landscape changes drastically, the 30-year-old Croatia international will aim to find a move away from St Mary’s. Orsic’s camp have been privately frustrated with what they consider a lack of respect.

Samuel Edozie (contract expires 2027)

Edozie, 20, was one of the players who was disappointed with the sudden decrease in game time under Selles. It was the first time in four years, from his point of view, that he was faced with a coach not immediately won over. The explanation for his absence was performance in training, and Selles wanting Edozie to prove himself as an “inside 10” rather than a winger. Instead of restricting him to substitute appearances, which would have been the player’s preference, Selles has largely decided to leave him out of the squad altogether.

Edozie will be one of the players keen to find out who the manager will be next season.

Joe Aribo (contract expires 2026)

Early optimism that Aribo, 26, would prove an important player has gradually turned into disappointment, with the midfielder starting just once in 2023. Aribo needs to find a settled position and consistent playing time, and it is improbable he will attract the same interest from elsewhere as he did last season. It means Aribo will have to hit the ground running in pre-season to work his way back into contention and fulfil the promise that first attracted Southampton when he was at Charlton Athletic.

Kamaldeen Sulemana (contract expires 2027)

Southampton broke their transfer record to sign Sulemana from Stade Rennais in a deal worth an initial £22million. Sulemana is young, dynamic and viewed in the Sadio Mane mould, with his underlying data, according to Southampton, contradicting his goal total of five across two seasons in France. The 21-year-old registered his first assist against Newcastle United but is yet to make the impact his transfer fee demanded.

Industry recruitment sources, who have experience brokering deals abroad, suggest Sulemana may initially go on loan in Europe in the event of relegation. But Southampton rate Sulemana highly after tracking him for several years and will view him as a player of considerable worth playing in the Championship. Talks over his future will take place at the end of the season.

Adam Armstrong (contract expires 2025)

Twenty-six-year-old Armstrong is yet to prove he can make the step up to the Premier League, scoring just three times in 50 appearances. It caused Hasenhuttl, and latterly Selles, to try and fail in repackaging him as a winger. Fortunately, relegation and a return to the Championship are being viewed as favourable in Armstrong reestablishing his form and confidence. With Southampton needing a goalscorer, the striker will have an opportunity to prove his worth at a level where he was previously successful at Blackburn Rovers.

Strikers x 4

Che Adams (contract expires 2024)

Adams’ full focus remains on this season and keeping Southampton up, however unlikely that may seem. He will enter the final 12 months of his contract in June and will assess his options once the campaign is at a close. The striker appreciates Southampton giving him an opportunity to play in the Premier League when they signed him four years ago, which will be taken into consideration.

There will be interest from other Premier League sides, some of who first monitored Southampton’s openness to sell him last summer, but his future will soon become clearer as talks with the club’s hierarchy are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.

Che Adams celebrates scoring a goal, later disallowed, against Bournemouth (Photo: Ryan Pierse via Getty Images)

Sekou Mara (contract expires 2026)

Mara has struggled to settle at Southampton, with a move away not ruled out. The 20-year-old has had sporadic game time this season, scoring two goals in all competitions. No talks over his future have yet taken place, although a year in the Championship may not be the worst thing for his development.

Paul Onuachu (contract expires 2026)

Onuachu has started just once under Selles, who prefers players adept at playing between the lines and pressing from the front, which does not suit a striker of Onuachu’s profile. There has been an acceptance from the manager that Southampton have to change the way they play when the Nigerian is on the pitch.

Southampton will find it difficult to recoup the £18million they spent on Onuachu just over three months ago, so will hope he can be effective next season under a different coach.

Nathan Tella (contract expires 2025)

Tella is extremely content living in Manchester and enjoys playing under Vincent Kompany at Burnley. His contract at Southampton runs until 2025 so the sticking point will be price and extracting the highest possible fee now that Burnley are in the Premier League. Tella is their top scorer with 17 goals and was voted in the Championship’s team of the season.

(Top photo: Julian Finney via Getty Images)


The single most worrying thing in that article is the repeated assumption that Selles will still be in charge next season. Surely the manager is the very first problem the board needs to address? :thinking: