Sociedad interested in Saints forward Juanmi, President reveals

The Spanish international could be set for an instant return to La Liga after an ineffective first season in the Premier League

Sociedad interested in Saints forward Juanmi, President reveals
Spanish international Juanmi hasn't made an impact on the Premier League | Photo: Daily Echo

Southampton forward Juanmi could be set for a swift return to Spain after just one season in the Premier League, with Real Sociedad confirming their interest in the 22-year-old.

Juanmi has found opportunities hard to come by on the South Coast with Graziano PelleShane Long and Charlie Austin all above him in the pecking order at St Mary's.

He is yet to find the net for Southampton and has just seven premier league appearances to his name since signing from Malaga for a reported fee of €7 million last summer.

Speaking with Spanish sports paper AS, La Real's President Jokin Aperribay confirmed that "there have been talks between the club and the player", but noted that it would be a matter of time before it became clear whether these discussions will "bear fruit".

International pedigree could attract further suitors

Should Real Sociedad fail in their attempts to bring the diminutive forward back to his native country, Saints would likely expect further interest in Juanmi's signature despite his lacklustre first year in England.

He made his senior international debut for Spain earlier this season as he started in a friendly defeat to The Netherlands at the end of March. He started before being replaced by Juventus forward Alvaro Morata in a 2-0 defeat to the Dutch in Amsterdam.

Juanmi on his senior international bow against the Netherlands | Photo:
Juanmi on his senior international bow against the Netherlands | Photo:

Previous to that, he has made a considerable number of international appearances at various youth levels, and has two European Under-19 Championships titles to his name from 2011 and 2012. 

Long on form as Saints dream of Europe

The late-season form of Shane Long means that Juanmi is unlikely to find himself presented with another Premier League start before the end of this campaign, and Football Espana have suggested that his poor form has left him unhappy in Southampton.

The Saints conclude their season with a trip to second-placed Tottenham Hotspur and a home tie with Crystal Palace, with Ronald Koeman's side still in the hunt for European qualification.