Southampton have sent a scout to watch tomorrow’s friendly international between Austria and Germany, with a 12-goal striker potentially high on their list of targets.
Austrian outlet Laola1 reports that Southampton, along with a clutch of other European clubs, will send scouts to the fixture. Those teams include Spurs, Olympique Lyon, Vitesse Arnhem, Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim and Karlsruher SC, with many eyeing different targets.
The Saints, who were relegated from the top flight last season, are reportedly watching two strikers as they look to bolster their attack for the Championship campaign and beyond.
Sports Witness suggests one of those targets could be 26-year-old TSV Hartsburg striker Maximilian Entrup, who is having an outstanding season in the Austrian Bundesliga. Entrup, who has helped his side to fourth in the early table, has bagged an impressive eight goals in nine league matches. With an additional three strikes in the Austrian Cup, his total is 11 in as many matches, with an assist thrown in for good measure.
He was called up once to Austria’s Under 19 side in 2016 whilst on the books of Rapid Wien but has since become something of a journeyman, with spells at Lafnitz in the second tier and stints in the regional divisions with FC Marchfeld Donauauen and FCM Traiskirchen.
The Sports Witness report also suggests they could be running an eye over Manprit Sarkaria, a left winger who will make his second appearance for his country against Germany. He’s had a far less nomadic career, playing at first for Austria Wien and latterly for Sturm Graz.
In 2021/22, he made the Austrian Bundesliga Team of the Year, whilst last season, he was an Austrian Cup winner with Die Schwoazn. This season, the 27-year-old has three goals from 13 outings, taking his total during his time in Graz to 35 goals from just 95 appearances.
There’s no definite indication of which players Southampton will be looking at, but German internationals are unlikely to be ready to move to England’s second tier. Austria, who qualified for Euro 2024 ahead of Sweden, has a huge amount of potential, with scouts on red alert after a fine year.
Both Entrup and Sarkaria look like the type of uncut gems that could come good at St Mary’s. Enturp’s career has been nomadic at best, and he’s only really shown good form in the last few months, but his form has been so good that scouts are sure to be taking note.
Sarkaria is different – he’s been a solid performer in Austria’s top flight for several seasons and is surely primed for a chance at another level. Of the other sides with scouts attending the game, German second-tier side Karlsruher SC and struggling Dutch side Vitesse are likely to be the ones fishing in the same waters as The Saints.