A major update has emerged for Southampton, one that could lead to them finding a potential heir to Danny Ings’ throne.
According to Le10Sport, Ligue 1 outfit Nantes have decided that they are willing to part ways with striker Randal Kolo Muani this summer for a fee in the region of £8.5m (€10m).
Muani is out of contract at the end of next season and Nantes are hoping to cash in now before they lose him on a free transfer. The report claims Bundesliga side Frankfurt have already failed with a bid for Muani as they were unable to match Nantes’ price tag.
Last month, Le10Sport claimed that Premier League clubs Southampton and Crystal Palace are interested in signing the forward to bolster their squads ahead of next season. French side Lyon were also mentioned as being extremely keen in the report, although no bids from Lyon, Palace or Southampton have been made as of yet.
Southampton CEO Martin Semmens could land the heir to Ings’ throne by landing a deal for Muani in the transfer window. Ings is out of contract at the end of next season and The Telegraph reported last month that Manchester United are considering a swoop for the English centre-forward. This could open the door for a striker to come in and take over from Ings, if the former Liverpool man does depart from St. Mary’s, and Muani could be that man.
Ings scored 12 goals and registered four assists in 29 Premier League appearances for Southampton in the 2020/21 campaign, averaging a WhoScored rating of 6.84. Muani, meanwhile, racked up nine goals and four assists in 35 starts for Nantes in Ligue 1, averaging a WhoScored rating of 6.91. This suggests that he could be on a similar level to Ings, as the Saints man only managed a few more goals, whereas Muani achieved a superior match-by-match rating across the season.
The £2k-per-week dynamo is also six years younger than Ings. This means that Muani could have the potential to improve further and become a key player for Southampton for years to come if they are able to sign him from Nantes in the coming months.
At the age of 22, Ralph Hasenhuttl could coach Muani into becoming the leading figure for Saints, with the French forward having already shown he has the quality to perform on a similar level to Ings.
Even if Ings stays at Southampton and sees out of the final year of his contract, Muani could be a great addition to the squad. Muani could compete with Ings and Che Adams for a starting spot and potentially learn from the former in order to improve his own game before taking over his throne in 2022.
For £8.5m, this is a deal that Semmens must look to get done.