Ralph Hasenhuttl insists Southampton do not need to sell in-demand stars such as Danny Ings or James Ward-Prowse to fund summer spending… but the Austrian reveals Brexit has impacted the Saints’ transfer plans
- Southampton could face a battle to keep their major stars at the club this year
- The likes of Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse have impressed this season
- Ralph Hasenhuttl insists the Saints do not need to sell to raise summer funds
- The Austrian admits Brexit has forced a change in Southampton’s transfer plans
Ralph Hasenhuttl insists he will not have to sell any of Southampton’s in-demand stars in order to fund a squad overhaul, but says Brexit has changed the club’s recruitment strategy.
The Austrian says Southampton’s slide down the table from a brief top spot in November is because his squad lacks depth, with fringe players unable to step up when key men have been injured.
Hasenhuttl plans to bring in stronger reserves in the summer, but says he does not have to cash in on the likes of Jannik Vestergaard, Danny Ings or James Ward-Prowse.
Ralph Hasenhuttl claims Southampton do not have to sell their stars to raise funds this summer
Danny Ings (middle) and James Ward-Prowse have impressed for the south coast club this term
‘We were up in the table until January and then we experienced that this squad, especially the players in the second line, were not good enough to keep us on this level,’ he said ahead of tomorrow’s trip to West Bromwich Albion.
‘We have to change in the summer. We need a lot of money but we have to be smart, to find transfer packages that are perfect for us and we can handle with our limits we have as a club.
‘The good thing is we don’t have to sell our best players. We will maybe sell others, those who are interesting for lower league teams.
‘It is not about selling a lot of players but selling the right ones. The targets we have are very seldom players in the £20m or £30m range.
Hasenhuttl has hinted the club will try to find the right ‘transfer packages’ to boost the squad
‘We are looking for players around the £10m mark or lower and there are some good value players around that.’
But he added that Brexit has changed the situation, with more overseas players requiring work permits since the UK left the European Union.
He added: ‘I think because of Brexit some other markets have opened for us more than when we were part of the EU, so this is definitely changing.
‘The problem is that you have to focus your scouting on these markets, especially South America, and we haven’t done so far.’
The Austrian claims that Brexit has made Southampton’s transfer plans harder this summer
And he says the Premier League’s riches make it harder to find bargains.
‘It’s not easy when everybody thinks we have huge money because we are a Premier League club, and so you pay more than other teams around the world,’ he claimed.
‘On the other hand, you might want to make a cheap transfer but the player is not good enough to get a work permit.
‘This is an issue you cannot solve easily, and one I didn’t know about when I was coming here. So we as a club know that we don’t have a huge amount of money to bring big players in.’
Southampton visit West Brom on Monday looking for back-to-back Premier League wins
West Brom won 5-2 at Chelsea last week and Hasenhuttl is well aware of Sam Allardyce’s reputation as a relegation-battler.
He added: ‘I knew his name and now know from my coaches about his amazing record of keeping up every team he has taken over.
‘The job he took here was definitely not the easiest one but results have shown he took a lot of points and also against big teams, so he has turned things around and still believes in staying up.’