This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has issued a telling update on the futures of Cedric Soares and Wesley Hoedt during an interview with BBC Radio Solent (08:20).
Well, The Telegraph reported in June that Saints were looking to move the two players on this summer, so it was something of a surprise to see them make the 26-man squad for the pre-season trip to Austria earlier this month.
Both players actually started in the 3-1 friendly win against Preston North End on Saturday, although right-back Yan Valery, as well as centre-backs Maya Yoshida and Jannik Vestergaard, were all missing from the squad for the clash at Deepdale.
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In an interview with BBC Radio Solent, Hasenhuttl was asked whether the pair could have a future at St Mary’s, and his response was pretty clear: “I don’t want to say they have no chance to play, but for sure the challenge is a big one because of the players here who have been successful in the last months.”
While the Austrian was complimentary about how the duo had returned for pre-season training in good shape, his stance on their future still appeared pretty clear even if they did start in Lancashire at the weekend.
Remember when Fraser Forster was challenging for the England No. 1 spot instead of Southampton’s No. 4? We throw back to a happier time for him in the video below…
Prior to the clash against the Lilywhites, Hoedt appeared to be way down the pecking order at centre-back having been one of only two outfield players not to feature against SCR Altach, while Cedric looks to be the back-up option to Valery following his loan spell with Inter Milan in the second half of the 2018/19 campaign.
As things stand it is hard to see a way back into the side as a regular unless circumstances change dramatically, and Saints could do with getting their reported £65,000 and £60,000-a-week salaries off of their wage bill.
Cedric also only has one year remaining on his contract, so it could be the south coast outfit’s last chance in the next couple of weeks to receive a fee for him.
Given how they have both been out of favour in the past, it wouldn’t be a surprise if both are no longer Southampton players by close of play on August 8 after Hasenhuttl’s latest comments.