German giants Bayern Munich are considering a move for Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap, according to journalist Florian Plettenberg.
The Saints have been raided throughout the summer as clubs have taken advantage of their relegation to the Championship, with stars such as James Ward-Prowse, Romeo Lavia, Tino Livramento and Mohammed Salisu all having departed St Mary’s in big-money moves.
Despite that, Southampton have made a good start to life in England’s second tier, remaining unbeaten with two wins from their opening three league fixtures. Although armed with an inflated war chest, only Shea Charles has arrived for a fee (from Manchester City) and Russell Martin’s side are expected to dip into the transfer market in order to bolster their squad before the end of the window of next week.
However, it does look as if the departures are not over yet and interest continues in German international Armel Bella-Kotchap.
Borussia Dortmund were previously thought to be the frontrunners for the centre-back and are thought to be considering making a loan offer. However, Sky Sports Germany journalist Plettenberg now claims that Bayern Munich have discussed the 21-year-old internally and have enquired about his availability.
❗️🆕 Armel Bella-Kotchap is on the list of #FCBayern! Bosses have inquired about the 21 y/o German national as he’s a versatile defender. Internal discussions took place.
— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) August 22, 2023
Bella-Kotchap only joined Southampton last summer from VfL Bochum but endured an injury-hit debut campaign. He made just 24 Premier League appearances and is yet to feature this season, with his last outing coming in early May in a 4-3 defeat against Nottingham Forest.
Speaking earlier this month, Martin said that the youngster was still recovering from his latest injury setback but was looking forward to working with him;
“I’ve been really pleased with him, the way he has trained this week has been amazing. He’s a long way off playing but as a first step to coming back, the physios have done a great job.
“We’ve worked him a lot this week within the parameters of what he can do. Slowly he will integrate back into the group properly.
“If he is here, I will be really excited to work with him because I think he can definitely help us and we can help him. It’s in his own interest and our own to get him fit and see what happens then.”
Unfortunately for Southampton, it looks like Bella-Kotchap’s brief stay at St Mary’s is coming to a premature end. Although he penned a four-year contract last summer, it would be impossible to ignore the lure of European giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, particularly when he is a German international himself.
The best the Saints can hope for in this situation is that they can negotiate a loan and potentially bring him back next season should they manage to secure promotion back to the Premier League.