Manchester United are reportedly willing to allow young winger Amad Diallo to leave on loan in January, with Southampton pushing for his signature.
Southampton are hoping to fight off competition from other leading Championship sides and European clubs who are also interested in Amad.
The Saints were keen on a move for the Ivorian star in this year’s summer transfer window before he suffered a significant knee injury during pre-season.
Southampton, who are managed by Russell Martin, sit fourth in the Championship table on 45 points at the midway point of the season after 23 games.
According to Football Insider, the Red Devils would be receptive to loaning Amad out next month.
FI added Southampton hope to steal a march on other clubs courting the winger and a loan bid is ‘likely to be accepted’.
Amad has made just nine appearances and scored once for Man Utd in all competitions since joining for a reported £37m from Serie A side Atalanta in January 2021.
The talented young prospect scored once in the five senior outings he made for Atalanta, having joined the Italian outfit from the Boca Barco youth setup.
The 21-year-old joined Rangers on loan for the remainder of the 2021/22 season in January and scored three times in 13 appearances for the Scottish Premiership giants.
The Ivorian then enjoyed a successful loan spell at Championship side Sunderland in the 2022/23 campaign, scoring 14 times in 42 appearances across all competitions.
Amad is a full Ivory Coast international and has scored once in four games for his national team after making his debut in 2021.
The 21-year-old was named in Ivory Coast’s preliminary squad for the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations, which will run from 13 January to 11 February.
‘Amad should be playing in a tier one league’
Sunderland sporting director, Kristjaan Speakman, was full of praise for Amad following the winger’s loan spell on Wearside last season, but claimed he is too good to return to the Championship.
“I’m so happy Amad sat in here at the end of the season with me and Tony [Mowbray] and had a vibrant smile on his face,” Speakman said in an interview with The Athletic.
“He loved it. Naturally, that’s what we want. Can Amad return to Sunderland? I don’t think so. He should be playing in tier one, in England, La Liga, Bundesliga, wherever.
“That’s the level of player he is. The staff here, the players and supporters have helped him get back on that journey and hopefully that will attract more players to want to come to Sunderland.”