Southampton alongside Premier League rivals West Ham have made tentative enquiries into the potential availability of Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham ahead of a potential summer move.
The Saints are potentially facing a real dilemma over what to do with the future of influential top scorer Danny Ings in the summer. Ralph Hasenhuttl is hoping that he can be convinced to sign a new contract offered to him, but that is yet to happen with some reports suggesting the hold up is down to a release clause the forward wants inserting into a new deal.
It has also been reported that Ings is keen to secure Champions League football after being denied the chance to prove himself in Europe’s premier competition due to injury issues in his spell at Liverpool.
Manchester City have been credited with an interest in the forward, with them believing he could be a decent alternative to Sergio Aguero.
Abraham is thought to be considering his Chelsea future ahead of the summer. The England international was left out of the Blues’ squad for their recent goalless draw against Manchester United. He remains under contract until 2023, but he is thought to be wanting to increase his wages from £80,000-a-week to £120,000-a-week.
Eurosport report that both Southampton and West Ham have made enquiries into his availability, with the Saints potentially ready to make a move if they lose Ings. However, the report adds any potential deal for Abraham would see them have to alter their wage structure.
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This has the makings of a very exciting signing for the Saints if they do make a successful move for Abraham in the summer. The 23-year-old was a strong performer for Chelsea last term firing in 15 Premier League goals in 34 appearances (Sofascore) to prove he belongs at top-flight level.
However, he has been limited to just 20 appearances so far this term in which he has fired in six goals (Sofascore). As a long-term replacement for Ings, there are few better forwards out there who the Saints could get who would have the same sort of proven Premier League quality and potential that Abraham provides.
Saints legend Matt Le Tissier even described him as being ‘right up there’ for his performances last term.
Two things will make a deal very challenging. The first being his likely wage demands that might prove to be beyond Southampton’s current model. Breaking a wage structure is never easy as it leaves other players at the club open to ask for more money.
While West Ham are also interested and might be able to offer him European football, the Saints can not offer that.