Sources: Southampton to launch West Ham raid, with double exit sparking Russell Martin reunion with Flynn Downes

Southampton badge and West Ham midfielder Flynn Downes

Southampton are lining up a move for West Ham midfielder, Flynn Downes, and the deal could be funded by the twin exits of James Ward-Prowse and Romeo Lavia, TEAMtalk understands.

The Saints are preparing for life back in the Championship and look certain to be without at least one of their finest midfielders.

Indeed, Romeo Lavia is courting strong interest from Arsenal. Football Insider recently reported a ‘verbal agreement’ has been struck that will see the Belgium international move to north London.

Captain Ward-Prowse, meanwhile, is on the radars of Liverpool and West Ham. Ironically enough, the Hammers may wind up sending a central midfielder of their own the opposite direction to the south coast.

TEAMtalk has learned new Saints boss Russell Martin is keen to reunite with Flynn Downes. Martin managed the 24-year-old during their time at Swansea City.

Downes was a £12m signing from Swansea last summer, though regular starts were in frustratingly short supply last term.

Downes racked up 35 appearances across all competitions for West Ham, though of his 21 league outings, only seven were starts.

The potential exit of Declan Rice to either Arsenal, Man Utd or Man City could conceivably open the door to more starts.

However, West Ham are likely to re-invest a sizeable chunk of that money in a direct replacement, meaning Downes’ situation may remain unchanged.

As such, a permanent move to Southampton could be on the cards despite their relegation to the Championship.

We’ve been told the potential proceeds from selling Lavia and/or Ward-Prowse will be partially reinvested in new signings and Downes is the player in Martin’s sights.

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