Southampton eager to land Paco Alcacer this summer

Relegation may be a fearful truth for Southampton this campaign, but that hasn't halted the club in expressing their interest in FC Barcelona attacker Paco Alcacer with news coming out that the 24-year-old is being targeted by the south coast outfit. 

The Premier League strugglers have found goals hard to come by this campaign and, assuming they remain in the top-flight beyond this term, are hoping to bring in the Spain international to boost their goal-scoring tally. 

Alcacer, who joined the Catalan giants two years ago from Valencia CF, was on Southampton's radar prior to his move to the Nou Camp but has struggled to hit the heights for Barcelona - netting just 14 goals in two campaigns alongside seven assists. 

Saints boss Mark Hughes was hit with the news last month that starlet Manolo Gabbiadini admitted being keen for a return to Italy in the summer transfer window - so the experienced manager will be hoping to replace his key man as soon as possible. 

However, the club may face competition with La Liga sides Celta Vigo and Villarreal having already shown a strong interest in Alcacer. 

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What can Alcacer offer to the disarray at St. Mary's?

The horrific events at Southampton cannot be ignored, with the Saints making a disastrous appointment in Mauricio Pellegrino and the change being too late for Hughes to save the club this season. 

Their rather uninspiring record in front of goal, led by the injured Charlie Austin who has six goals, won't be too tempting for any potential incomings; and that is dependent on whether they can sustain their Premier League status beyond this term. 

Predominantly a centre-forward, the 13-time capped Spanish international is vastly similar to likely departure Gabbiadini. Paco is easily able to deploy himself on the wing if need be, to offer support for the firm fan favourite Austin. 

FC Barcelona may be aiming to recoup the £26 million they splashed on his services so Southampton will need to dive deep into their wallet for the acquisition of Alcacer - although that can't be too difficult with the £75 million sale of Virgil van Dijk in January.

Nevertheless, the striker has found the back of the net on a total of 61 occasions in 194 matches during his professional career. Nothing too stunning for Saints supporters to get excited about, however, may offer a different approach on a weekly basis to the likes of Austin.