New Prem suitor adds to Tottenham tussle for ‘rare’ top-flight talent

Date published: Monday 4th January 2021 8:43 - Jonny Whitfield

Lucas Digne, Demarai Gray, Bernard

Southampton have registered an interest in signing Leicester winger Demarai Gray on a free transfer in the summer, according to a report.

The 24-year-old‘s contract with the Foxes runs out at the end of the season and his future remains unclear.

However, recent reports have suggested that he is likely to move on in time for the 2021/22 campaign. Indeed, Tottenham have supposedly shown interest.

One journalist, in fact, said that Leicester expected Gray to move to the north London club.

According to The Sun, though, the Saints have now added their name to the winger’s list of suitors.

The newspaper claims that the south coast outfit are ‘exploring’ the possibility of signing the England Under-21 international.

What’s more, the source notes that Gray would present a ‘rare’ pickup amid the new Brexit regulations.

Prospective signings accumulate points based on senior and youth international appearances, club outings and the pedigree of the selling club.

Should a player satisfy those criteria, clubs would be free to bring them to the Premier League.

Demarai Gray Leicester

But Gray is a homegrown player and so bypasses those measures. Nevertheless, with the tighter restrictions on signing players from across Europe, the winger presents a golden chance for English clubs.

What’s more, should Gray see out his contract at Leicester, his transfer would cost nothing for his next club.

The forward has struggled for minutes this season, playing only 18 minutes of Premier League action. Indeed, his only other senior outing has come in the Carabao Cup.

Gray reportedly also has interest from across Europe, with Benfica, Marseille and Monaco all keen. But The Sun notes that adding to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s improving squad could be of more interest.

Allardyce battered by Brexit

Sam Allardyce TEAMtalk

Meanwhile, Sam Allardyce has pinpointed exactly why the likes of Gray present a ‘rare’ opportunity for English clubs.

The West Brom boss has revealed that he has had to scrap plans to sign three players because he realised that they would not qualify for a work permit.

The Baggies, who sit second-bottom in the Premier League, need reinforcements for their survival bid.

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