Southampton are ready to sell Che Adams this summer with the south-coast club putting a modest fee on his head, but a move to long-standing suitors Leeds looks increasingly unlikely.
The Scotland striker has been on Leeds’ radar for some time; they saw efforts to sign him in a £20m deal fall short in January 2020. That was while the Whites were still in the Championship. And they wanted Adams as a replacement for Eddie Nketiah following his recall by Arsenal.
Ultimately, Saints rejected Leeds’ offer – and the Whites instead made the ill-fated decision to sign Jean-Kevin Augustin instead.
Adams though has remained on their radar since – and he was linked with a move to Leeds once again earlier this summer.
However, Leeds expert Phil Hay of The Athletic insists Adams is no longer a major priority for United this summer.
And while they are in the market for another striker to add to their armoury, it appears unlikely they will move for Adams.
However, his exit from Southampton does look to be on the cards.
As per The Athletic, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has told Adams he is free to leave this summer.
They are willing to allow him to leave St Mary’s after three seasons, with the player no longer considered first choice.
Per reports, they are willing to let him leave for a fee of just £15m too. His deal has two years left to run and his availability has alerted Nottingham Forest.
As such, it is the Tricky Trees who lead the charge for his signature, with Steve Cooper keen to bring him to the City Ground.
Adams was an unused substitute as Saints were well beaten 4-1 at Tottenham in their Premier League opener on Saturday.
Che Adams role at Southampton explained
Instead, Hasenhuttl opted to start with Joe Aribo and Adam Armstrong in attacking roles.
But when Armstrong was withdrawn at half-time with the side trailing 2-1, he brought on namesake Stuart in a makeshift attacking role. But the move backfired with Spurs exerting their dominance and scoring two more.
And the lack of use of recognised forward Adams had many questioning the Austrian’s decision.
Now the Scotland striker’s lack of action on Saturday has since been addressed by Hasenhuttl.
“I think we didn’t want to change in the end the two guys up front, Joe and Stuey,” Hasenhuttl told the Daily Echo.
“I think they deserved to play because they had a good pre-season and scored goals. And in the end, Arma got the chance today to start because he was the most successful striker in pre-season for us. He deserved it I think.”
Asked what Adams must do to win a recall, Hasenhutl added: “I think everybody should step up because this is not enough what we’re doing so far.
“Because I don’t compare this game to when we won here last year, in some moments we have done a better job last season.”
Signing would be a smart one for Forest
Despite already splashing the cash this summer, a much-changed Forest side began life back in the Premier League with a 1-0 loss at Newcastle.
Cooper’s side have brought in 12 new signings this summer, giving their side a very fresh feel to last season.
However, they were largely toothless as Newcastle earned a deserved win.
As such, the signing of Adams for £15m may prove an astute signing for the Reds.
He has plenty of Premier League experience and is something of a handful for opposing defenders. In 110 appearances for Saints, he has 21 goals and 12 assists.
And while not prolific, it’s the all-round game of Che Adams that would benefit Cooper’s team.
Furthermore, he’s a player who would certainly give their squad more depth. Despite the heavy spending, Forest’s bench still included Lyle Taylor and Oliver Hammond on Saturday. Neither player are believed to figure in Cooper’s long-term plans.