According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Southampton are in last-minute transfer talks with Bournemouth over signing Josh King.
Now, on deadline day, it appears Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side could be the team to prise 6 ft 2 man King away from the Championship, with Ornstein claiming that the Norwegian could head to St Mary’s for a low fee on a permanent deal, with Shane Long heading in the opposite direction on loan with an option to buy.
Ornstein added: “It is a scenario that is thought to rest on King accepting the terms offered by Saints and then speaking with manager Ralph Hasenhuttl to be persuaded they are the right destination for him.”
Given Southampton’s heavy reliance on Danny Ings to score the bulk of their goals over the past couple of seasons – he was within a whisker of the Premier League’s Golden Boot last campaign and has already scored seven this time – it’s no surprise that the Saints are after another centre-forward on deadline day.
Aside from Ings’ 25 goals last season, the next highest-scorer was James Ward-Prowse with five. The campaign before that was even more dire, with no player whatsoever breaking the ten-goal barrier mark.
In King however, Hasenhuttl would be getting a Premier League proven player who found the back of the net on a quite consistent basis in his time in the division with Bournemouth – he had ten goal contributions in the Cherries’ relegation campaign, and broke double figures for league goals alone in the previous two seasons before that.
Described as the “complete package” by former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, King’s Premier League experience would allow him to hit the ground running for Hasenhuttl’s side and take some of the goal-scoring burden off the shoulders of both Ings and Che Adams.
His ability to operate out wide gives the Saints boss an added option in that area too, and given that Ornstein claims he would arrive for a low transfer fee too, it seems like it could be a masterstroke from Martin Semmens.