Southampton have finalised their first transfer of the upcoming window, with Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu set to join the Premier League side.
Salisu's commanding performances as a centre-back in his first La Liga season has garnered interest from several sides, although Southampton seem to have won the race for his signature.
The 21-year-old has been a part of Valladolid's youth system since 2017 after scouts from Spain spotted him playing for the African Talent Football Academy in his country of birth Ghana.
Football Insider report that Southampton will pay Salisu's release clause of £10.9m (€12m), and add that the Saints have tied their new arrival down to a long-term contract worth £35,000-a-year.
Premier League rivals Everton and Manchester United were among the clubs Southampton pipped in the hunt for Salisu's services.
Salisu played in Valladolid's first 29 league fixtures of the season before he struggled with a muscle injury following football's resumption. These fitness issues ultimately saw him miss out on the team's final four league fixtures - three of which Valladolid lost. Nevertheless, the club partially owned by the Brazilian footballing icon Ronaldo finished the season in 13th.
Ralph Hasenhüttl's Saints have enjoyed a spirited end to the season, with 15 points from their eight games since the restart. However, Southampton go into the campaign's final day having conceded a whopping 59 Premier League goals - an inferior defensive record can only be found among clubs embroiled in the relegation battle (although without That Famous 9-0, they'd only be a single goal behind Chelsea).
Jan Bednarek, Jack Stephens, Jannik Vestergaard and Wesley Hoedt have all sat at the heart of Southampton's defence this season, with the first two emerging as Hasenhüttl's preferred pairing in recent weeks.
Only captain James Ward-Prowse has played more minutes than the right-sided Polish centre-back Bednarek for Southampton this season. And the left-footed, 6'3 Salisu could neatly balance the defence on the other side of his future teammate.
Source : 90min