Southampton look set to miss out on another of their summer targets, with reports claiming that Santiago Moreno is set to complete a move to Portland Timbers.
Along with Leeds United and Rangers, the Saints were linked with a move for the 21-year-old by The Telegraph earlier this year.
The winger has established himself as a regular at America de Cali in recent seasons and has been likened to Sadio Mane due to his style of play, which suggests that he could have been a hit at St Mary’s.
Mane was signed by Southampton from RB Salzburg back in 2014 and made 75 appearances for the Saints in two seasons, contributing 25 goals and 14 assists before completing a £34m move to Liverpool in the summer of 2016, where he has gone on to become one of the top wingers in world football.
However, Moreno’s agent has now claimed that he is very close to joining MLS side Portland Timbers, as he told El Pais: “There are other possibilities on the table, but the one we are working on at the moment and the closest to a deal is Portland.
“‘Santi’ leaves very grateful to the fans of America de Cali, he fulfilled his dreams and understands that leaving young will also give him the opportunity to return at a good time.”
During his time in the Liga Dimayor, Moreno has featured 52 times for America de Cali, contributing an impressive 10 goals and seven assists.
Although he may well have been an option for the future rather than one who could’ve made an impression in Hasenhuttl’s side next season, that he was attracting so much interest suggests that he has a lot of potential, and Southampton may well rue not signing him this summer.
If Moreno can progress even further in the MLS with Portland Timbers, then it would not be a surprise to see his name mentioned as a potential target for top European sides again in the future, when the sense of regret for the Saints over missing out on him could well be exacerbated.