Southampton’s hopes of signing Nantes striker Randal Kolo Muani this summer have suffered a blow after Crystal Palace reportedly joined the race to sign the Frenchman.
The £6.3m-rated forward has impressed with the Ligue 1 side this season, making 36 appearances in the French top flight, in which he has contributed eight goals and four assists, averaging a solid 6.89 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
This is enough to rank the 22-year-old as the second-best performer in Antoine Kombouaré’s side so far this season, which emphasises just how important he is for Nantes.
Considering that Les Canaris could still go down this season, as they currently occupy a relegation play-off spot, Muani’s goal return is very impressive for someone so young and suggests that he could be an excellent addition to Hasenhuttl’s side this summer.
However, now that Crystal Palace are interested in the Frenchman, who has been likened to PSG sensation Kylian Mbappe, it may force a bidding war between the two clubs. That could be bad news for Southampton, as Ralph Hasenhuttl has already suggested that the Saints will target players under £10m this summer, and Nantes may well take advantage of the interest being shown in Muani by raising his asking price.
The Frenchman recently rejected the offer of a contract extension at the Stade de la Beaujoire, which suggests that he will be on the move this summer, and Southampton must try and be the team to capitalise.
With Danny Ings’ future still uncertain, a new striker such as Muani should definitely be on Hasenhuttl’s list ahead of next season, and Muani appears to have a great deal of potential.
Therefore, Saints vice-chairman Martin Semmens should definitely act quickly to try and secure a deal for the French striker ahead of next season, as he is clearly a man in demand and Southampton may end up missing out if they fail to land him.