Southampton have been handed a transfer blow as reported target Nemanja Radonjic has seemingly confirmed that he will stay with Marseille this month.
Southampton were first linked with the winger in December in the print edition of The Sunday Mirror (06/12, p63), with West Ham and the Saints reportedly keen on taking the Serbian on loan.
However, he has now quashed any rumours of him potentially leaving the Ligue 1 side on loan or permanently this month, as he confirmed earlier this week in an interview with Tutto Mercato Web that:
“I have no intention of leaving Olympique Marseille. I have not had contact with other clubs and I am sure I will stay here. I want to stay at least until the summer and I am happy that the coach has given me more space in the last few races.”
This could certainly be considered a blow for Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, especially as Moussa Djenepo now looks set for a spell on the sidelines after picking up an injury against Liverpool recently.
Nathan Redmond has also struggled for fitness and form this season, so adding a winger such as Radonjic could have given the Austrian some much-needed squad depth on the wing.
He would also have surely increased the Saints’ attacking potential, as he has caught the eye with his pace during his time with Marseille, with captain Steve Mandanda saying:
“He has incredible speed and technique skills.”
The 24-year-old has struggled for game time with Les Olympiens so far this season, making just 11 appearances in all competitions, in which he has managed one goal and one assist, as a thigh injury kept him out of the side for much of November and December.
Radonjic averages 0.6 key passes per game for Marseille in Ligue 1, whilst Djenepo and Redmond average 0.4 and 0.2 respectively per game in the Premier League, so it definitely seems as if he would have been a worthwhile addition to Hasenhuttl’s side.
The Serbian international seems determined to stay with Marseille this month, however, which is a shame for Southampton. Despite their impressive start to the season, Radonjic would definitely have added something different to Hasenhuttl’s side and would have been useful to have considering the Austrian’s lack of available options on the left-wing at the moment.