In Focus: Southampton move for Andy Carroll looks increasingly unlikely

According to reports in The Sun, Southampton will face competition from Chelsea if they want to sign West Ham United striker Andy Carroll, who is rated at £8.9m according to Transfermarkt, during the January transfer window, and they have been dealt a blow with the Daily Mail reporting that the Blues have made an official enquiry.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Sun reports that Saints are interested in the 28-year-old as they look to find a target man to replace the injured Charlie Austin, but the Blues are also keen on the centre-forward.

The Daily Mail has added that the Premier League holders have already enquired about bringing the England international to the club on loan until the end of the season.

How has Carroll done this season?

He has, once again, struggled with injuries that have stopped him getting a consistent run in the West Ham side, while he was also suspended after picking up a red card against Burnley earlier in the campaign.

The 28-year-old has netted twice in 12 Premier League appearances, although both of those came in the vital 2-1 victory against fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion at the London Stadium on Tuesday.

Carroll is known for his heading ability and strength in the air, and according to WhoScored.com he has won 70 of the 118 aerial duels he has faced in those 12 league games.

Would he be a good signing for Southampton?

He certainly would be, as long as he can keep fit.

Saints enjoyed most of their success in recent years when they had Rickie Lambert and Graziano Pelle as lone strikers, and there is no doubt that Carroll has similar physical attributes.

His strength in the air and ability to hold the ball up and bring the rest of his attacking teammates into play could be crucial for a Saints side that are struggling for goals and lie above the relegation zone on goal difference.

Will they get him?

It doesn’t seem very likely.

While Chelsea may feel that they could get Carroll on loan until the end of the season, the same won’t be said of Southampton, who look to be a relegation rival for the Irons right now.

If Saints are willing to pay over the odds to get the 28-year-old then a permanent deal could happen, but that seems unlikely even with the predicament they currently find themselves in.