Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster’s reported wage hike absolutely baffling

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

The Sun journalist Alan Nixon has claimed on Twitter that Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster has had a pay hike this season, which is absolutely baffling in the circumstances.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Nixon revealed that Saints are looking to offload both Forster and fellow stopper Alex McCarthy on loan during the summer transfer window, which isn’t too much of a surprise given Angus Gunn has established himself as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first choice in 2019.

However, it was a detail at the end of the tweet that made for interesting reading, as he suggested that a potential exit is proving difficult because of the wage packets the duo are on, with both said to have risen this term.

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It remains unclear whether Nixon means in 2018/19 or ahead of the upcoming campaign, but whatever the case it is quite remarkable in Forster’s case.

Why’s that?

The 31-year-old was once upon a time the undoubted number one at St Mary’s under the likes of Ronald Koeman and Claude Puel, but his form dropped off dramatically towards the end of 2017 – six months after he had signed a new five-year contract with the south coast club.

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…

Following a 5-2 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day, the former Newcastle man was dropped in favour of Alex McCarthy and has only made one senior appearance since then – against West Ham United back in May.

It is no secret that he is reported to be one of the highest-earning players at Southampton, which makes sense from the bumper deal he put pen to paper on two summers ago.

However, if Nixon is right and he has seen a hike in his pay either last season or for the upcoming one, it shows just how badly the club has been run in the past.

Saints appear desperate to offload the 6 foot 7 goalkeeper before the transfer window shuts next month, but they may have dug their own grave if Nixon is right.