An update has emerged regarding Southampton’s valuation of Newcastle transfer target Mario Lemina.
According to the Daily Mail, the Saints are interested in signing Isaac Hayden from the Magpies and are now willing to offer Lemina in exchange for the 26-year-old.
The report claims that the Saints are in talks over a possible swap deal with Newcastle, with Hayden valued at £12m and Lemina at £4m, although it remains to be seen whether it would be a straight swap or cash coming Steve Bruce’s way along with the former Juventus man.
Newcastle must sanction a deal to sign Lemina from Southampton. Even if a swap deal with Hayden does not materialise, the Magpies should be looking to snap up the Saints enforcer if he is available for £4m as it could be a bargain deal for the Tyneside club.
Lemina is valued at £9m by Transfermarkt and arrived at St Mary’s from Juventus for around £15.5m in the summer of 2017. This suggests that £4m could be a terrific price for the midfielder, who has one year left on his contract on the south coast.
In terms of how he stacks up against Hayden, the Gabon international could be a significant improvement. In 11 starts as a central midfielder for Fulham in the Premier League, Lemina averaged an impressive WhoScored rating of 6.88. Hayden, on the other hand, recorded an average rating of 6.66 in 16 starts in the same position for Bruce’s side, suggesting that Mike Ashley would be improving the squad by swapping the two players.
Garth Crooks once labelled the 27-year-old a midfield “powerhouse” and claimed that he was good enough to play for a Champions League club, citing his experience with Juventus in the Serie A earlier in his career.
The BBC Sport pundit said: “My goodness, this lad looks a powerhouse. I suppose when you’ve played for one of the biggest clubs in the world in Juventus, you should have all the tools to survive in any league.
“The former Juve man was composed on the ball and timely in the tackle – and for a holding midfielder, he was very capable of hurting the opposition. Lemina is a top-four player in my opinion.”
Therefore, Bruce would surely be buzzing if Lemina arrived at St James’ Park. He could be getting a top-class midfielder who is an upgrade on Hayden, whilst potentially getting money to spend because of Lemina’s bargain £4m valuation. If Bruce can get the Gabon midfielder on song and playing at his best, then he could land a real coup this summer judging his performances for Fulham and Crooks’ previous comments about him.