In Focus: Barcelona eye Southampton star, and the club might not stand in his way

According to reports in The Sun, Southampton right-back Cedric Soares is a £25m target for Spanish giants Barcelona.

What’s the story, then?

Well, with Barcelona still yet to find a long-term solution to replacing Dani Alves at right-back, they are said to be considering signing one in the summer.

Saints’ Cedric is said to be one of their top targets, and they are willing to pay £25m – five times what the south coast outfit bought him for when they signed him from Sporting Lisbon in 2015.

How key has he been for Saints this season?

The 25-year-old seems to have struggled with niggling injuries ever since he made the move to St Mary’s, and he has missed chunks of the current campaign with Cuco Martina filling in when needed.

However, his attacking threat – as with Ryan Bertrand on the other flank – is vital to Claude Puel’s side’s attacking play and he was outstanding in the EFL Cup Final defeat against Manchester United, and should have had an assist for Manolo Gabbiadini’s goal which was incorrectly deemed to be offside.

Would Saints stand in his way if an offer came in

It’s hard to say.

Chairman Ralph Krueger recently told talkSPORT that the club wants to keep hold of their best players, but the club may feel that an offer of £25m would be too good to turn down for someone they signed for £5m.

Les Reed has proven time and time again that he is able to replace the stars that leave with cheaper alternatives – who still have great quality – and they may not want to deny the Euro 2016 winner the opportunity to move to one of the biggest teams in world football.