Southampton may have already brought one forward to the club this summer in Sekou Mara but another attacker is very much on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s radar.
However, they have been dealt a blow in their bid to bring one to St Mary’s.
The Saints have had their eyes on landing the son of Rory Delap, Liam, in the summer transfer window but their chances of doing so are now looking rather slim.
That’s according to both Fabrizio Romano and Dan Sheldon, with the former revealing the following on Twitter over the weekend:
“Stoke City are in advanced talks to sign Liam Delap, favourites to find full agreement with Man City.
“Been told City will only let Delap go on loan. Southampton £16m official bid and Newcastle approaches have been rejected. Stoke, on it – as per @dansheldonsport.”
With Armando Broja heading back to Chelsea and with it also appearing unlikely that he will be allowed to leave, the addition of further firepower to Hasenhuttl’s ranks has become incredibly important.
Mara and Joe Aribo will undoubtedly add greater quality to the side but another striker would go down a treat.
Landing Delap for £16m would have been shrewd business but with Stoke now closing in on his signature, albeit on a temporary basis, it comes as a huge blow for Southampton, one that will no doubt leave supporters gutted.
After all, this is a young talent who like Broja, has the world at his feet.
He may not have played much senior football to date – just six games in total – but his goal-scoring record at youth record is rather astonishing.
Clearly a gifted player with a keen eye for goal, Delap would surely have taken to life under Hasenhuttl like a duck to water.
Southampton have proven themselves to be a tremendous breeding ground for young talent and there would surely be fewer better places for Delap to craft his trade and play than on the south coast.
If he ends up at Stoke, the Saints may well learn to regret not enticing him to their grateful clutches.