Sport Saints credited with Abdennour interest

15:10  17 july  2017
15:10  17 july  2017 Source:   Read Sport

Katharina Liebherr resigns from Saints board

  Katharina Liebherr resigns from Saints board Katharina Liebherr has resigned from her role in the Southampton board amid a major board reshuffle, according to The Daily Echo. The Swiss owner has stepped down, leaving all the big decisions and everyday involvement with the club to chairman Ralph Krueger, vice-chairman Les Reed and vice-chairman of business Martin Semmens. It has been rumoured for a while that she was looking to sell her stake in the club to a Chinese firm, but talks have gone quiet and now Liebherr has resigned. This has all come about due to the ambition of the Saints’ board as they aim to reach the summit of English football within the next decade. This season was not deemed as successful for the Saints, although they finished 8th in the Premier League and reached the EFL cup final. This was not enough for Claude Puel to keep his job as manager. The man tasked with the role this season is Mauricio Pellegrino, as the Saints look to push on in the top-flight. They have brought in one new player so far; young defender Jan Bednarek.

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Southampton and Leicester are reportedly holding an interest in Valencia defender Aymen Abdennour.

According to a Foot Mercato journalist Dahbia Hattabi, Saints are one of the teams chasing the Tunisian international this summer.

Abdennour was tipped for big things during his time with Toulouse in France, but hasn’t quite had the desired impact since his big move to Valencia.

However, this doesn’t appear to have halted interest in his services this summer, with Saints and the Foxes both linked with a move for him.

Arsenal identify Netherlands international as prime target

  Arsenal identify Netherlands international as prime target Arsenal have been fairly active in the transfer window already, and it looks as though they’re ready to go all out to sign a central defender now. According to a report from the Daily Mail recently, the Gunners have identified Southampton captain Virgil van Dijk as the perfect candidate to bolster their defence this summer. Van Dijk enjoyed a hugely successful first half of last season, before a long-term foot injury ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. Since his arrival on the Premier League scene, he has established himself as one of the league’s top central defenders, attracting a plethora of clubs’ interest in the process. Chelsea and Manchester City have previously been credited with interest, but a move to either side looks unlikely now as they move on, or have already, to other targets. However, Liverpool are still holding a keen interest in signing Van Dijk, despite Saints’ warning to them that their star man is not available in this transfer window. It’s thought that a fee of around £65m could tempt Saints to offload the Dutchman, but that’s a price Arsenal are unlikely to cough up so soon after securing Alexandre Lacazette for around £50m. Arsene Wenger has Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel Paulista, Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi at his disposal at the back, but appears to be keen on building on this.

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Alex Caparros/Getty Images Sport © Alex Caparros/Getty Images Sport Alex Caparros/Getty Images Sport

The 27-year-old made just 14 appearances for the La Liga outfit last term, so he could be keen to secure a move that will guarantee him consistent game time next season.

Saints already have a plethora of central defensive options at their disposal but with speculation mounting regarding Virgil van Dijk’s future, it’s interesting to see more links to an established defender.

CD Leganes v Valencia CF - Copa del Rey Round of 32 © Denis Doyle/Getty Images Sport CD Leganes v Valencia CF - Copa del Rey Round of 32

Saints linked with Alaves centre-back Feddal .
Southampton are being linked with a move for Deportivo Alaves centre-back Zouhair Feddal. According to a report from the Daily Mail today, the Saints are weighing up a cut-price deal for the experienced defender, who Mauricio Pellegrino managed at Alaves last season. The defender has a buyout clause in his deal worth just £2.6m and is attracting interest from clubs in Spain. Both Real Betis and Valencia are reportedly keen to land the 28-year-old. Under Pellegrino last term, Feddal enjoyed a successful campaign. He played a part in helping Alaves to a 9th place finish in La Liga, while also helping them to a Copa del Rey final. He scored two goals in 33 appearances for the Spanish outfit. Saints currently have Virgil van Dijk, Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida, Jan Bednarek and Florin Gardos on the books as their central defensive options, but could make room for a player that Pellegrino evidently rates highly and could be keen to take with him to the south coast.

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