Southampton Ramp Up Interest In Primary Transfer Target

Southampton have stepped up their efforts to sign Swansea City defender Nathan Wood by returning with an improved £10 million offer, according to the Daily Mail.

The Saints interest in the England under-21 international is well known and it was claimed earlier this week that they had approached their Championship rivals with an initial offer of £7 million plus £3 million in add-ons.

It was confirmed yesterday by Swans manager Michael Duff that a bid had been received and subsequently rejected. Speaking in his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Preston North End, the former Barnsley boss said;

“I think there’s a bid, yeah. I think it got rejected. It’s a sign of having good players. If no one’s bidding for any of the players then we’d be useless. We think we’ve got some good players.”

Southampton manager Russell Martin was the man who brought Wood to the Stadium last summer from Middlesbrough and is keen for a reunion before the end of the transfer window next week. They have now returned to the table with an improved offer of £8 million plus £2 million in add-ons, with the total amount totalling that of their original offer.

The Mail’s report claims that this offer still falls short of Swansea’s valuation.

The South coast team are likely testing the waters but are armed with a heavy war chest thanks to the big money sales of Romeo Lavia, James Ward-Prowse and Tino Livramento. There is also speculation that both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are keen on defender Armel Bella-Kotchap, although his potential departure could be an initial loan with an option to buy.

Wood has started all three of Swansea’s Championship fixtures so far this season, scoring in the 3-2 defeat against West Bromwich Albion.

Writer’s View

Southampton’s improved offer is likely to be instantly rejected by Swansea, particularly because the total amount mirrors their original bid.

Russell Martin is seemingly desperate to bring the centre-back for St Mary’s as he looks to return the club to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Their financial clout means that it is likely that they will eventually land their man, even if this does drag on to the final moments of the transfer window next week.

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