That’s according to Fabrizio Romano, who shared the update via Twitter.
He outlined: “Southampton have submitted an official bid this week around £16m to sign Liam Delap on permanent deal. Manchester City have turned down the proposal.
“Delap, top target for Southampton but there’s still no agreement in place.”
Even though City rejected the offer for Delap, it appears that Southampton are finally making their move to fill their vacant striker role, following Armando Broja’s return to Chelsea after his loan spell at St Mary’s.
It will be music to Saints fans’ ears that they have honed in on a top target and are at least making moves to get him, and this particular target has a remarkably high ceiling.
Delap bagged eight goals and two assists in just 10 Premier League 2 games last season, suggesting that he may have outgrown that level. Following City’s recent acquisition of Erling Haaland, though, chances up front will be few and far between for the England underage international.
Standing at 6 foot 1 but also possessing a blistering change of pace, this physical marvel would be a remarkable coup for the Saints, who would more than replace Broja in one fell swoop.
Pep Guardiola has been full of praise for the striker, hence his reluctance to let Delap leave. In February, the City manager said: “He is the type of striker we don’t have. He is a killer, a typical British striker, an incredible finisher.”
Now that the Citizens have signed arguably the best striker of this mould in Haaland, Delap is certain to fall down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium. Given Southampton’s fine track record of developing young talent, it could be the perfect platform for him to showcase and hone his skills.
His limited first-team experience could be an issue, but given the Saints’ recent Premier League finishes of 15th in the last two campaigns and 11th the season before that, they have something of a safety net to allow him to acclimate.
Supporters will be buzzing that the club are intent on trying to get their man, and this would represent the perfect purchase for Ralph Hassenhuttl as he looks for a focal point from which his team can build. They’ll be even happier if Southampton go back in with another offer for Delap.