Middlesbrough have spoken to Southampton about a loan deal for striker Adam Armstrong, TEAMtalk can reveal.
The former Blackburn Rovers striker joined the Saints last summer in a £15m transfer after blasting 28 goals in the Championship.
However, the 25-year-old did not enjoy the best of campaigns with just two goals from 17 starts. And it is believed Southampton are looking at other options and ready to let Armstrong move out on loan.
Armstrong found himself behind Armando Broja and Che Adams in the pecking order. While 35-year-old Shane Long was afforded game time towards the end of the season.
Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted it was a hard decision for him to leave Armstrong out of the Southampton side for the game against Brighton in April.
“It is hard for Arma [Adam Armstrong], because he should also get the chance to play. But today I thought Shane [Long] was the better decision I think,” the Saints boss told Hampshire Live.
“Absolutely, it was not easy [to not go with Armstrong instead]. I decided this morning and there was no session to train with this, but sometimes it is just a feeling that you have.”
Hasenhuttl also admitted that no player should be satisfied when they are not playing regularly.
“I have a feeling that nobody is happy when you are not playing. This is normal – nobody should be happy when he is not playing. He should be looking to come into the team as quick as possible because everyone wants to play, and it is up to me to find the right players to do so,” Hasenhuttl said last month.
Now Boro have made a move to try and lure the one time Newcastle United striker back to the North East.
Adam Armstrong, plus two other forwards
Boro are looking to bring in at least two new forwards, as well as Armstrong.
Chris Wilder’s men are also in talks to land Dwight Gayle from Newcastle.
Gayle, 32, was a key figure in helping Newcastle earn promotion back to the Premier League in the 2016/17 season.
He scored 23 goals in 34 games in the Championship. But like Armstrong, he has been unable to take that form with him into the Premier League.
It’s safe to say the signing of Armstrong would be a real coup for Chris Wilder.
Armstrong is a proven goalscorer in the second tier with 44 goals in his last two seasons in the Championship.
However, his wages may be a problem for Boro, who will hope Saints will agree to pay part of his salary.