Southampton set sights on Filip Kostic to further strengthen ahead of new season

Filip Kostic is likely to be the replacement for inevitable departure Sofiane Boufal, who's heavily linked to exit the Saints.

Southampton set sights on Filip Kostic to further strengthen ahead of new season
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Having returned to the country following a pre-season tour of China, Southampton boss Mark Hughes has been rumoured to be looking at Serbia international Filip Kostic, who currently plies his trade in Germany.

The 25-year-old left-sided winger suffered relegation to the German second-tier with Hamburg and the club have put Kostic up on the transfer list, enticing the Saints to make a swoop for the attack-minded player.

Sofiane Boufal, still currently on the books at Staplewood, is likely to leave the Premier League this summer with a switch back to France deeming his preferred destination, so Hughes is eyeing a potential replacement and envisages Filip Kostic as the man to fill that vacant position. 

During his time as a professional player, the player has accumulated 26 caps for the Serbia national team and was involved in the country's rather disappointing World Cup campaign.

Would Mark Hughes be taking a risk?

Since moving to join Dutch outfit FC Groningen in 2012, Kostic has been labelled as 'one for the future' but his continuous lacklustre performances have meant he is no longer tipped to be a star of the game and could not help Hamburg retain their Bundesliga status. 

It was certainly not the Yugoslavian-born player's first relegation from the German top-flight; Filip Kostic was a member of the Stuttgart side which endured the unfortunate fate some two years ago - leaving them for Hamburg but was unable to make a mark at either club.

His experience is somewhat underwhelming and it would be completely understandable as to why Southampton supporters may be disarrayed if this pursuit came into fruition.

Kostic has also failed to excite at the international stage as well as at domestic level. He made his Serbia debut in the summer of 2015 against Azerbaijan as a substitute for Liverpool flop Lazar Markovic and slowly grew into being a regular in the set-up but as unsurprisingly failed to amaze his nation.

Looking at his track record, the transfer could be a major risk but one most Southampton supporters would be willing to take to acquire his signature.

Striker not a target for Saints

In other, more overwhelming transfer news to come out of St. Mary's, reports suggest Southampton are not interested in want-away Liverpool striker Danny Ings - who grew up in the area and dearly supported the Saints as a child. 

With the likes of Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long challenging to lead the line, with Sam Gallagher pushing for a spot in the first-team, Mark Hughes isn't able to guarantee the former Burnley man minutes and feels the £20 million asking fee can be spent elsewhere.

Prosperous talent Ryan Seager has exited the club in another loan deal, signing for Dutch second-tier side SC Telstar on a season-long deal from the south coast.