Southampton holding talks over permanent January signing of five-goal striker

Ralph Hasenhuttl reacts during a defeat for Southampton

Southampton are reportedly holding talks with Chelsea over a potential permanent transfer for Armando Broja, who has impressed hugely since moving to St Mary’s on loan.

The 20-year-old forward has scored five league goals since joining Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side at the start of the season and Saints appear to be desperate to land the player on a full-time basis, in order to stop any rivals from jumping in.

At his stage, it appears unclear what Chelsea’s intentions are for the Albania international. However, The Guardian states that discussions are taking place, so there is significant hope there for Ralph Hasentuttl.

Broja spent last season on loan at Vitesse in the Netherlands. However, he is a boyhood Blues fan and came through their academy.

He was handed his senior debut by Frank Lampard in March 2020 and has a contract that runs until 2026.

Current Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel had a good look at Tuchel during pre-season, only for the Blues to splash out a club-record £97.5million to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge.

Broja may still get Chelsea chance

However, there is a feeling that Tuchel could look to have different attacking talent in west London next season.

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Lukaku has only scored five league goals since his big-money move and also indicated that he would he happy to return to Inter Milan one day. Timo Werner has also had his fair share of struggles and has only scored 18 times in 69 games for the club.

If Chelsea do decide to hang on to Broja then at least Saints have the comfort of knowing they will still, almost certainly, have him for the remainder of the season.

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Meanwhile, Ralf Rangnick’s desire to repel transfer approaches for Dean Henderson this month is under the microscope after Southampton sparked talk of a surprise U-turn, per a report.

The goalkeeper, 24, had been tipped to battle David de Gea for the starter’s role this season. However, Henderson’s recovery after contracting Covid-19 over the summer was slower than expected. That allowed De Gea opportunities to impress at the beginning of the season. Showing his class, the Spaniard took his chance with both hands.

As a result, Dean Henderson has been left kicking his heels on the bench. He had just two first-team appearances to his name this season.

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That has seen the stopper tumble down the pecking order for England. In a World Cup year, sitting on the bench is the last thing he would’ve wanted.

As such, widespread reports have stated Henderson is looking for a way out this month. A loan exit could work in both the player and United’s favour, but the club have rejected his requests.

In his Friday press conference, Rangnick once again confirmed his desire to keep Henderson around.

With Covid rampant and United challenging for trophies on three fronts, Henderson could yet have a critical role to play in the second half of the season.

However, online outlet Football Insider have revealed Rangnick’s authority could be put to the test.

Southampton make Dean Henderson enquiry

They report that Southampton have ‘made an enquiry’ over the signing of Henderson ‘this month’.

Henderson could conceivably walk straight into Ralph Hasenhuttl’s starting eleven if a deal were agreed. That could ultimately benefit Man Utd with Jesse Lingard’s stellar loan spell at West Ham last year a shining example of the benefits of the loan system.

Lingard returned to the club a better player than the one that left. Furthermore, his superb stint in the capital helped to stabilise his transfer value.

The article acknowledges United’s public stance that Henderson will not be moved on. However, they report states a surprise U-turn is ‘on the cards’ with Henderson ‘pushing for a move’ behind the scenes.

READ MORE: Fear growing that Liverpool, Tottenham, Saints target has agreed next move