Transfer ‘over the line’ for Ralph Hasenhuttl as Southampton agree swoop for star with £127m exit clause

Matheus Tete Cardoso Lemos, Shakhtar Donetsk celebrates a goal against Real Madrid

Southampton have reportedly pulled off a major coup in advance of the summer transfer window by securing the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk winger Tete.

The Brazilian star finds himself at a career crossroads with players being special dispensation to leave clubs in Ukraine or Russia with immediate effect. And having made a big impact at Shakhtar, Tete is very much a man in demand. Indeed, having 10 goals to his name from 22 appearances this season, it’s easy to see why.

Indeed, almost a third of Premier League sides are reportedly keen on the 22-year-old, who has been with Shakhtar since 2018.

As such, Brighton, Everton, Brentford, Leicester and West Ham are all apparently looking at the star.

In addition, AC Milan, Atalanta, Benfica, Ajax, Napoli and Porto are also among his many suitors.

However, 90min reports that it is Saints who have won the race for the Brazil U23s star.

Exact details of the transfer remain unclear at this stage other than Southampton are “confident” of securing his signing. That’s after the Premier League blocked the FIFA and UEFA approved window that allows players based in Ukraine to move mid-season.

As such, and if the reports are accurate, Tete will instead join Ralph Hasenhuttl’s ranks over the summer. And he will be seen as quite a major coup given his impressive record.

Indeed, having moved to Donetsk as an 18-year-old from Gremio, Tete has registered 31 goals in 108 appearances.

Having also gained Champions League experience, and scoring against the likes of Real Madrid, the signing is seen as a real coup for Saints.

Fee still to be determined

Saints will likely have to pay a fee to Shakhtar, despite the situation in the country, though the exact amount is still to be determined.

Furthermore, Tete has a huge £127m exit clause in his deal.

That will obviously be negated now with Saints likely to sign him for a vastly-reduced fee.

That said, Tete will give Saints an extra dimension next season. Capable of playing as a No 10, or on either wing, his versatility will very much appeal to the Austrian boss.

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Tino Livramento linked to Tottenham this summer with 2 Spurs players to go to Southampton in return

Hasenhuttl’s side are enjoying a solid season and are currently 11th.

They will hope to secure a top-half finish this season and return to action with a trip to face Leeds on Saturday.

Saints deserve praise for Tete deal

The signing of Tete is an excellent piece of business for Saints if they have, indeed, secured his signature.

The 22-year-old has been the jewel in Shakhtar’s crown for some seasons now. And by all accounts, he is one player likely to get even better.

Currently earning a reported £11,000 a week in Ukraine, Tete will reportedly quadruple his earnings at St Mary’s.

Wrapping up the signing of the player of this calibre proves Southampton’s pulling power.

They will also hope his signing helps pave the way for other deals too. Deals like this will certainly help Saints establish themselves in the top 10.

Hassenhuttl’s side will also be hoping to wrap up the signing of another attacker in Armando Broja. However, reports on Tuesday claim it is Napoli who are now leading that chase.