During the buildup to Saturday’s Premier League clash with last season’s Championship title winners Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl fielded a few questions about his plans for the summer – both in terms of targets if we fail to avoid the drop, but as everyone hopes, our potential targets if we achieve survival.
Implying that there are clearly two lists, that may or may not be mutually exclusive, out Austrian manager was as open as he could be without strictly confirming rumours or obviously naming names.
Speaking to the Daily Echo Hasenhuttl admitted that although the main focus at the moment was achieving survival, it was only natural that some attention turned to recruitment, and although some targets are more guaranteed, others would obviously be division dependent.
“You do both things. One thing is focusing on the weekend but as long as we are not safe it is not easy to prepare the next season. We have to have the right decisions when we have the chance to take them and therefore we are working also and looking at new players. The sooner we are safe the better it is. We all know that the sooner we get the last wins we need for 40 points, for example, the better and we have another chance at the weekend.”
Once we reach the point that the drop is now mathematically impossible, things should begin more falling into place but given the speculated interest in Birmingham City’s Che Adams and reports that an offer was left tabled in readiness for the summer, Hasenhuttl refused to be drawn at that point.
“I don’t want to discuss any personality. We were linked with him in the winter transfer period also. We have eyes on a few young players who fit in our shape and philosophy and we are mainly looking for younger players. First, we have to be safe.”
He did however offer that Adams was one of the players on the list.