Southampton chief executive officer Martin Semmens has confirmed the club “are in the process” of wrapping up a deal for Real Valladolid centre-back Mohammed Salisu.
In just his first season of senior football, the Ghanaian made headlines in La Liga with a streak of fine performances in the 2019-20 La Liga seaon, which attracted the interest of a host of top European clubs.
At the end, Saints and French side Stade Rennais went head-to-head for his signature but speculation suggested there was also initial interest from the likes of Manchester United, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
Reports in the last few days said Southampton have secured the signature of the 21-year-old following a successful medical, with an official announcement imminent.
“Most of the stuff you see on social media isn’t always true,” Semmens told BBC Radio Solent.
“This one probably has a bit more truth to it. It has been very clearly documented, to my surprise, exactly what has been happening.”
“He is a player we have looked at for a long time, a really high-quality young player in Europe who would really add something to our squad.”
“We are in a process and we hope that we are lucky enough to get him. We are very aware that some of the biggest and best clubs in Europe have looked for him.”
Semmens added: “We offer him something different, which is a pathway to get better, physically, and technically playing in the first team in the Premier League.”
“We hope that opportunity and the pathway we have shown for other players will attract him here, but we’ll know more soon.”
“It would be truthful to say that we have had that discussion. These things are complicated, but it is fair to say to everyone that he is one we are looking very closely at.”
Last season, Salisu made 31 La Liga appearances for Valladolid, starting 30 of the games.
He scored his only goal in a 2-0 triumph over Eibar last October.
The left-footed man’s fine club performance earned him a maiden Black Stars invitation for a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe in November, but he later withdrew from the squad due to injury.
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