Southampton must hijack West Ham’s bid to sign Lille right-back Kevin Malcuit

According to French media outlet France Football, West Ham United are considering making a move for Lille right-back Kevin Malcuit, but their Premier League rivals Southampton must hijack any potential deal.

What’s the word, then?

Well, France Football report that the Irons, along with fellow top-flight side Fulham, are keen on the 26-year-old, although they could face competition for the Frenchman’s signature from Inter Milan, Valencia and Celta Vigo.

Malcuit certainly made a huge impression for the Ligue 1 outfit on the right flank as the club narrowly avoided relegation to Ligue 2, forming a strong partnership with winger Nicolas Pepe.

The defender still has four years left on his contract having only signed last summer and could come at a price, but that doesn’t appear to have put Manuel Pellegrini off even though he already has Ryan Fredericks and Pablo Zabaleta to choose from at right-back.

Why must Southampton hijack any move?

Well, while Saints have a Euro 2016 winner in Cedric Soares in their ranks, the departure of Jeremy Pied following the expiry of his contract this summer has left the south coast outfit short of depth in the right wing-back position.

Academy graduate Harrison Reed and James Ward-Prowse have both featured there in pre-season in Cedric’s absence following the World Cup, but it seems clear they need another option.

The Portugal international didn’t enjoy his best 2017/18 campaign where he sometimes struggled defensively – as well as his crossing often letting him down in the final third – and there is no reason why a new addition couldn’t oust him from the starting XI.

Malcuit proved with five assists in 23 Ligue 1 appearances last term that he has the ability to do exactly that, and now Mark Hughes, who should be looking to sign a 21-year-old striker dubbed ‘the new Luis Suarez’, must bring him to St Mary’s.

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