Southampton have been credited with an interest in Atalanta ace Joakim Maehle this summer but he would reportedly cost Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side more than £20m.
However, after a superb European Championships with Denmark, rumours resurfaced, with Italian news outlet Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) claiming that the Saints were keen on bringing him in this summer.
Unfortunately for Hasenhuttl, the versatile full-back may well be out of their price range, as Serie A expert Conor Clancy suggested in a recent interview with Football FanCast, with the editor-in-chief of Forza Italian Football saying:
“To a Premier League club, anything above £20m, you never know, but if he were to join another club in Europe, £10m to £15m, it’s that Premier League inflation.
“Atalanta only sell if it works for them so he’s not going to be sold for £15m because there’s no reason for Atalanta to do that six months after signing him.”
As much as Southampton fans might be keen on Maehle after his impressive performances for Kasper Hjulmand’s side over the summer, which helped Denmark reach the semi-finals of the Euros, it seems unlikely that the Saints will spend over £20m on another full-back.
Hasenhuttl’s side have already brought in Romain Perraud at left-back, as well as Tino Livramento as a back-up to Kyle Walker-Peters at right-back, so it would be strange to see another marquee signing at the back, especially with the Austrian manager suggesting ahead of the transfer window that they would target players for £10m or less this summer.
It is a blow for Southampton that the 24-year-old would likely cost so much this summer, as his versatility would surely have been appreciated by Hasenhuttl, whilst his superb displays at the Euros emphasised just how much quality he possesses from both a defensive and attacking point of view, as he averaged an impressive 7.38 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Ian Wright was quick to sing his praises after the quarter-final win, when he contributed an incredible assist with an outside-of-the-foot cross, as he said:
“Along with Spinazzola, Maehle has been fantastic in this tournament.
“He has scored the last couple of games but that is probably one of the passes of the tournament so far for me.”
Maehle surely would’ve been an excellent addition to Hasenuhttl’s side, so Southampton fans will no doubt be gutted at his price tag this summer and plenty will be wishing that they had managed to sign him from Genk.
And, in other news… Semmens should seal summer swoop for “complete player”, Ralph would love him