Southampton have made enquiries into Rennes winger Jeremy Doku as Nathan Jones looks to bolster his squad this winter, according to reports.
The French side are allegedly demanding a fee in the region of £23m for the Belgium international, which would be a new club-record fee should the deal happen.
The 20-year-old is regarded as one of the most exciting wingers in Europe at the moment, so it would be a major coup if Southampton manage to pull this off.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has long been an admirer of the youngster after considering signing him on multiple occasions in the past.
In fact, When he was just 16, Klopp allegedly told Doku that he could be their heir to Sadio Mane. However, it now looks like he is more likely to end up on the south coast.
Jones and co are certainly in need of reinforcements this month after his team have had a dismal start to the Premier League campaign. According to FootMercato, the Saints are currently the frontrunners to sign Doku this winter.
Southampton currently sit bottom of the table after winning just three of their opening 18 matches, also scoring the fourth fewest goals in the division.
Doku could provide some much-needed attacking quality, but as mentioned, he will command a hefty transfer fee. However, despite being touted to be a great prospect, he has not exactly been prolific this season.
The attacker joined Rennes from Anderlecht in August 2020 after impressing in the Belgian top flight. Since then, Doku has become a regular in Bruno Genesio’s team, making 68 appearances overall, scoring five times and making six assists.
However, despite showing flashes of brilliance, this season he has so far failed to find the back of the net, with zero goals or assists in 10 league appearances.
It is worth noting that he’s only made three starts so far, though, and has yet to complete a full 90 minutes.
In any case, Doku is highly rated in his native Belgium after featuring regularly for their Under-21 team and also picking up four caps for the first-team over the last few years.
Southampton need for attacking options clear as relegation battle looms
As mentioned, scoring goals has been a real problem for Southampton this season and they will have to turn that around if they want to move out of the relegation zone.
Their top scorer across all competitions this season is Che Adams, with eight goals in 20 outings, while James Ward-Prowse has scored five in 21. However, no other player has scored more than two goals for the Saints.
As reported by TEAMtalk, they have already made a big addition in signing goal scoring midfielder Carlos Alcaraz, but they are still on the hunt for several big names, including Doku.
Lorient centre-forward Terem Moffi is also on their radar, who after scoring 10 goals in 16 appearances in Ligue 1 this season is subject of interest from several Premier League clubs.
Southampton manager Jones has made no secrets over the fact that they are desperate to improve the squad, either.
Speaking in a recent press conference, he said: “It’s not the amount [of signings], it’s the quality of what we do.
“So there won’t be 10, but if we can get three or four real quality additions that improve us, then that’s what we want. Because it’ll freshen stuff up and there’s a good group there.
“They need a bit of help, but there’s a good group there and what they haven’t had for a long time is a run of results where we’re picking up wins and picking up positive performances and so on.
“If they can do that, then you can see the real group come out because it is a group in there and that’s my job to get it out.”
The Saints have a huge six-pointer against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday, so Jones will be hoping to have another new face through the door ready for that game.
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