According to the Sunday Mirror (via HITC), Southampton and West Ham United are both taking an interest in Marseille winger Nemanja Radonjic ahead of the January transfer window, and he could potentially turn out to be the Saints’ next Sadio Mane.
According to the report, the 24-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at the Ligue 1 club and they have allegedly begun to make teams aware that he will be available in the upcoming transfer window.
Since joining Les Olympiens from Red Star Belgrade in 2018, he has struggled to live up to expectations with the French side, having made 55 appearances, contributing just six goals and three assists (per Transfermarkt).
However, his time with Red Star showed that Radonjic can be a threat in front of goal, considering he managed 11 goals and eight assists in just 47 appearances for the Serbian club.
He also has four goals in 20 appearances for his country and could prove to be a strong addition to the Southampton squad, if Ralph Hasenhuttl can unlock his potential.
During his time with Marseille, Villas-Boas dubbed the winger “explosive“, suggesting that he could potentially be a similar sort of player to former Saints man Sadio Mane, with his electric pace a big reason why he’s been so successful in the Premier League.
The Senegalese international joined Southampton from RB Salzburg in 2014 and went on to make 75 appearances for the South Coast club in which he contributed 25 goals and 14 assists before joining Liverpool, where he has established himself as one of the best wingers in world football.
If Southampton were to sign Radonjic in January then perhaps he could have a similar effect to Mane if he were able to establish himself as a key part of Hasenhuttl’s squad in the next few seasons.
Certainly, the form of both Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond so far this season suggests that there is an opening for a winger in the Austrian manager’s first-team and Radonjic could be the man to take up that mantle, should the Saints be able to make the most of his attacking ability if he moves to the South Coast club.
Considering he is valued at just £4.95 million and is seemingly surplus to requirements at Marseille, this could prove to be a bargain deal for the Saints, and therefore, it is a transfer risk that is worth taking.