Does Southampton swoop for Soares signal quick Clyne exit?
News that Southampton (12/1 with Coral for a top four Premier League finish) have snapped-up Sporting Lisbon right back Cedric Soares on a four-year contract for a reported fee of up to £4.7m, could have transfer implications higher up the food chain in the Premier League.
Germany-born Soares has been capped four times for Portugal so far, and progressed through the Lions’ famed youth academy, going on to make over 90 first team appearances for the Lisbon giants, with whom he lifted a Taca de Portugal this term.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) June 18, 2015
His capture represents somewhat of a coup for Saints and coach Ronald Koeman, who has pulled-off many a left-field acquisition since joining last summer. The Dutchman’s inspired transfers have mostly proved to be more hit than miss so far, and Soares is already Southampton’s second signing this week, with Spanish striker Juanmi adding further Iberian flavour to the south coast side.
“We have now signed two exciting talents early in the window,” stated Southampton’s executive director of football Les Reed, though their speed could be less to do with competition for Soares and Juanmi’s signatures and more to do with potential outgoings.
The Saints are looking at a lesser summer exodus than this time last year, but top stars such as midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and current right back incumbent Nathaniel Clyne are being circled by big-guns such as Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Soares’ timely capture could well have been hastened to soften the blow should Clyne, yet to put pen to paper on a new contract with just one-year left, and rumoured to be inching ever closer to a St Mary’s exit, depart sooner than anticipated.
Seemingly keen to avoid further transfer sagas, canny Koeman could also be getting his cut-price purchases out of the way before the footballing world knows Southampton have received big sums for their seemingly wantaway stars.
The signing of Soares may also prove to be the catalyst for Clyne to decide where his future really lies, as the England international will now have a highly-rated competitor for his place, with Euro 2016 just around the corner.
Koeman needs players he can count on, and Saints stars who will not use the club merely as a stepping stone. Having already spoken to press, 23-year-old Soares certainly sounds keen, having stated: “I joined this club because I believe we can do better and better every year. Southampton is a big, big club in England and is very respected… I think this is a very good move.”
Watch Soares’ skills:
Could this be the wake-up Clyne needs? Or is the defender already half way out of the door? rivals Liverpool (odds-on at 4/5 to be Clyne’s next club) and Manchester United (2/1) are the favourites to land the Three Lions full back, with fees of around £15m being mooted.
Staying with the Saints could be considered a safe move, as Man Utd can offer Champions League football but, having recently fallen out-of-favour with Roy Hodgson, a switch could certainly prove risky should Clyne slip-up and fail to establish himself in a new side. Either way, Soares is an exciting signing, not just for his potential at St Mary’s, but how his arrival may ignite the transfer market.