Adam Armstrong and Brandon Williams linked with switch to the Saints
Adam Armstrong of Blackburn Rovers celebrates after he scores their second goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match between Coventry City and Blackburn Rovers at St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium on October 24, 2020 in Birmingham, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Southampton are looking to continue their summer spending, with Adam Armstrong and Brandon Williams linked with a move to the club.

The Saints, who have already completed the permanent signings of both Theo Walcott and Romain Perraud, are looking to shape their squad ready for their opening Premier League fixture against Everton at Goodison Park.

  • Adam Armstrong 

One player on the Saints shortlist is Blackburn striker Armstrong. A graduate from the Newcastle United academy, the Englishman has impressed in his last two Championship campaigns, scoring 44 goals, and assisting a further 11 in that time.

However, it was last season that put him on the radar of a host of top division clubs. Finding the back of the net on 28 occasions last season, the 24-year-old was only outscored by Brentford’s Ivan Toney, with Armstrong scoring more than title winner Teemu Pukki.

According to the Lancashire Telegraph, Southampton have shown concrete interest in the striker, having their opening bid turned down by Tony Mowbray’s side. It has been reported that Blackburn are holding out for a fee of around £20m for their star man, with Newcastle’s 40% sell-on clause a key part of their valuation. It is unknown how far away the south coast side are away from Blackburn’s asking price for the forward.

However, due to Armstrong’s contract situation, he may leave the club for less than they desire. With his contract running out at the end of the upcoming season, Blackburn’s original asking price may be slashed to complete a sale.

The Championship club could hold onto their forward for the upcoming season, but the financial disadvantage of keeping their most valued asset to then lose him on a free in 2022 means a departure is likely.

  • Will Armstrong be playing alongside Ings?

Southampton, the side currently leading the race for attackers’ signature, are in a similar situation to the side from which they are looking to purchase Armstrong.

According to the Athletic, the Saints main goal outlet Danny Ings has rejected Southampton’s latest contract offer, which is believed to have made him the highest-paid player at the club.

Like Blackburn, Southampton must decide whether to cash in on the Englishman this summer or see him exit the club on a free when his contract expires at the end of the new season.

Whatever their choice, it is unlikely to affect their interest in Armstrong, report the Lancashire Telegraph.

Although, if Ings is to leave Southampton, there will be an added pressure on the former Coventry City man to replicate a similar goal output to the man he would be replacing.

The ex-Liverpool forward has obtained the interest of a host of Premier League clubs competing in European competition, with his 34 goals across the past two years steering his side clear of a relegation battle.

Unlike the man that may take his number nine shirt, Ings had his best campaign to date in the 2019/20 season. Clocking up 22 goals in the Premier League, the England international finished just one behind top scorer Jamie Vardy. The duo would have shared the top spot at the end of the 38 game campaign, but Ings’ penalty miss on the penultimate game of the season saw him beaten to the award by the Leicester City man.

If Ings does depart, his goals need to be replicated from somewhere if Southampton wants their run of 10 consecutive seasons in the Premier League to continue.

However, there is still a possibility that Ings could remain at the club. According to Adam Blackmore, no Champions League club has enquired about the availability of Southampton's main man, with the former Burnley striker unwilling to join a team outside the top six. 

In contrary to the Atheltic's report, Radio Solent's Sports Editor has also claimed Ings has not rejected the contract offer, and will not force a move away from the club. 

  • Brandon Williams 

Another man linked with a move to the south coast is Williams. A long-term target for Southampton, the Manchester United full-back is on the list of potential targets for the Saints left-back role, with Romain Perraud already acquired from Stade Brestois 29 earlier in the window.

Depth is required in the Southampton ranks. Ryan Bertrand, who served at the club for seven years, departed at the end of his contract in favour of a move to Europa League side Leicester, with the relatively inexperienced 21-year-old Jake Vokins loaned out to Ross County for regular first-team football.

Despite both Jack Stephens and Mohammed Salisu both deputising in the position last season when either of the pair were unavailable, the departures of both left-backs mean Perraud is the only natural in the squad.

The 23-year-old attacking full-back is expected to be the first choice on the left-hand side come the start of the 2020/21 campaign, with his knowledge of the club shown in his signing interview already endearing him to many of his new fans.  

As a result, it comes to many as a shock that Southampton have registered their interest in Williams. According to the Athletic, United are expecting the Saints to pay all his reported £65,000 weekly wage, which would put him amongst the highest earners at the club.

The 20-year-old, who made just 14 senior appearances last campaign, has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford, with Luke Shaw and Alex Telles the two more favoured options.

Despite the addition of Perraud to the Southampton ranks, the Athletic also reported that Ralph Hasenhuttl has ensured the youngster his playing time will improve if he is to move to Southampton.

With Yan Valery seemingly outside the Austrians current plans, with a disappointing loan move to Birmingham City in the second half of the 2020/21 season doing anything but help his first-team aspirations, Williams could also be implemented on the right-hand side of the defence.

Currently occupied by Kyle Walker-Peters, an injury or drop in form could see the versatile defender deployed on what could be considered a more unnatural position than he is used to.

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