According to The Mirror, Southampton boss Mark Hughes will move for Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen if the Saints survive in the Premier League this season.
Hughes replaced Mauricio Pellegrino as head coach of Southampton last week, with the Welshman signing a contract at St Mary’s until the end of the season.
It is understood that Hughes could be offered the job on a long-term basis if he manages to steer the club out of the Premier League relegation zone in the final weeks of the campaign.
According to The Mirror, Hughes is already thinking about next season, with the Welshman identifying Stoke midfielder Allen as the perfect arrival.
Hughes brought Allen to Stoke from Liverpool in the summer of 2016, and the versatile midfielder has scored 10 times in 70 appearances for the Potters.
West Ham United have previously been linked with Allen, but Southampton will seemingly make a summer swoop if they manage to stay in the top flight.
In short, yes. Stoke are not having a good season, but Allen has been a consistent performer for the club.
Indeed, he has managed four goals and seven assists in 31 appearances, which is a strong record for a team that have struggled throughout the campaign.
Southampton are desperately in need of some fresh blood in the middle of the park, and Allen, who is valued at £16.2m by transfermarkt.co.uk, would bring proven Premier League quality to the Saints.
Much could depend on whether Stoke survive themselves in the Premier League this season, and it might well be that both the Potters and Southampton stay in the top flight.
According to The Mirror, even if that occurs, Southampton would be confident of convincing Allen to move South due to his close relationship with Hughes.