Southampton flop Mario Lemina is reportedly closing in on a move to OGC Nice, which could be a huge boost for both Ralph Hasenhuttl and chairman Jisheng Gao.
According to France Football (via Get Football France News), OGC Nice are in advanced negotiations with the Gabon international ahead of a summer switch and are now in pole position to land him, despite reported interest from Newcastle United.
The 27-year-old is clearly surplus to requirements in Hasenhuttl’s squad, having spent the last two seasons out on loan with Galatasary and Fulham, with whom he failed to impress, suffering relegation with the Lilywhites during the 2020/21 campaign.
He reportedly earns £4ok per week with the South Coast club, so both Hasenhuttl and Gao would be delighted to get him off the wage bill and perhaps put his fee towards bringing in another player who can compete in the squad.
Lemina was never likely to be a regular in Southampton’s midfield for next season, with James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Ibrahima Diallo and Stuart Armstrong all arguably ahead of him in the pecking order, and with the report from GFFN suggesting that he won’t be at St Mary’s for much longer despite returning for pre-season, it looks as if Southampton fans can finally wave him goodbye on a permanent basis.
The £9m-rated flop did little to suggest in his spell at Fulham that he would be able to make an impact in Southampton’s first team for the upcoming campaign and he now looks set to follow other deadwood such as Wesley Hoedt and Angus Gunn out of the door at St Mary’s, which can only be a good thing for the Saints from both a footballing and financial perspective.