Saints emerge as favourites for Man Utd midfielder as Hasenhuttl targets revenge

Man Utd midfielder James Garner licks his top lip

Southampton are being cited as the favourites to sign Manchester United midfielder James Garner in a £15m deal.

Everton, Tottenham and Nottingham Forest have all been linked with the 21-year-old but Southampton have emerged ahead of the pack.

Garner – who had a successful loan spell with Forest last season – would cost in the region of £15m.

He had wanted to establish himself at Manchester United but he has spent the two opening games of the season on the bench.

Saints have also been linked with a £25million deal for Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos, with Hasenhuttl explaining that it is difficult for the club to sign proven talents.

“It’s always possible but it’s tough because players that have shown up somewhere else are very, very expensive,” he said.

“For us, this is tough to get. But it is not about young or old, we need players that give us the potential to get better and this is very often based on young ones.

“We are very happy with what we have signed so far this season. We give them the chance to play here and they show immediately the impact they have made.”

The Saints have started the season with a heavy defeat to Tottenham and a 2-2 draw with Leeds United that saw them come back from a two-goal deficit.

They face a struggling Leicester side on Saturday afternoon.

Hasenhuttl says Southampton will be fuelled by a lingering grievance from last season’s heavy loss at Leicester when they return to the King Power Stadium.

Saints were thumped 4-1 by the Foxes on the final day of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign after falling behind to a controversial James Maddison goal.

Hasenhuttl’s side had been in possession when play was stopped early in the second half due to an injury to Jamie Vardy but referee Jon Moss then presented the ball back to the hosts, leading to Maddison capitalising.

“I still must say that I cannot follow what happened there at that time,” said the Saints manager, previewing Saturday’s clash.

“This was definitely decisive for this game. It’s always a motivation when you lose a game but when you lose it in this way even more.

“The way was absolutely not right and not fair. We got punished for something that was not right.

“It’s gone and we cannot win this game. But we can win this game on the weekend and this is the goal and this is why we’re going there with all of the motivation we need to have.”

Saints forward Che Adams will be fit to face the Foxes after suffering a minor injury in last weekend’s 2-2 draw at home to Leeds.

Romain Perraud, Tino Livramento and Theo Walcott remain unavailable.