Southampton’s hopes of signing Ryan Gauld this summer have taken a blow after SC Farense triggered a one-year extension option in his contract, meaning he will now set the Saints back somewhere in the region of £3.5m, rather than being available on a free transfer as was initially thought.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side were first linked with a move for the Scottish midfielder by the Daily Record earlier this month, with the reports suggesting that he was keen on a move to St Mary’s so he could link up with fellow Scot and former Dundee United teammate Stuart Armstrong.
The 25-year-old’s contract with SC Farense was set to expire at the end of the season, meaning the Saints could have signed him on a Bosman transfer, but Portuguese news outlet O Jogo have now suggested that they have triggered a one-year extension to his contract ahead of the summer, where an offer of €4m (£3.5m) will be enough to prise him away from Estadio de São Luís.
SC Farense’s head coach Sergio Vieira was full of praise for Gauld last year, saying:
“He has given us fantastic individual quality, played most of every 90 minutes and has been crucial in contributing with assists and goals.
“He’s a great player, technically very developed and, with the ball at his feet, capable of realising actions that only the best players do.”
Given that SC Farense suffered relegation from the Portuguese top-flight this season, despite the best efforts of Gauld, it seems extremely likely that he will depart this summer, but Southampton will have to shell out a fee if they want to bring him to St Mary’s.
The attacking midfielder enjoyed a superb season in the Liga NOS, contributing seven goals and seven assists in 33 league appearances, which helped him average an impressive 7.19 rating from WhoScored, which is better than any Southampton player managed this season.
Therefore, despite the disappointing news that Gauld seemingly won’t be available on a free transfer this summer, Martin Semmens should definitely try to sign him, as he could prove to be an excellent addition to Hasenhuttl’s side ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
And, in other news… Hasenhuttl can amend key 20/21 disaster with summer swoop for £4.5m-rated beast