KRC Genk star Joakim Maehle has spoken about his future to Belgian outlet Het Belang Van Limburg.
The right-back – who Sky Sports believe was on Southampton’s radar last month as they reconsidered another swoop for their January 2019 target – has made 29 appearances for the Jupiler Pro League side this season, scoring one goal and registering four assists.
He had also been scouted by another Premier League side in Crystal Palace, although no exit from Belgium materialised for the 22-year-old.
However, he has now spoken out about his future ambitions.
Maehle told Het Belang Van Limburg (print version via Sport Witness): “I want to achieve the best with Genk, but at the same time, I am a young ambitious football player who wants to reach the top. If a nice club from a top competition knocks on the door, there will be an itch to take that step.”
Having failed to acquire his signature in each of the last two January transfer windows, this news could certainly be deemed as encouraging from Southampton’s point of view.
While Maehle concedes that he wants to achieve great things with Genk, he offers a slight hint that he would be interested in leaving the Belgian giants in the future if a ‘nice club’ from a ‘top competition’ comes knocking.
In the Saints’ case, it doesn’t get much bigger than the Premier League, ensuring that they would presumably be an attractive option for the right-back in future.
Ralph Hasenhuttl could do with another right-back this summer when Kyle Walker-Peters’ loan move from Tottenham expires, as he will be left with just Yan Valery in that area of the pitch when the England U21 international departs.
Perhaps, in light of Maehle’s comments, he could well be replaced by the Danish full-back if the stars align.
In other news, take a look at the XI that we think Ralph Hasenhuttl should deploy against Burnley…