Southampton have suffered a transfer setback after news emerged that Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White is not interested in moving to the south coast.
What’s the story?
A report in the Athletic on Gibbs-White’s future said that, despite interest from Saints, the player is “not keen” on a move to St. Mary’s and would prefer to go elsewhere.
Wolves continue to insist that he is not for sale with fellow Premier League clubs Everton and Nottingham Forest also in the hunt for his signature.
The player impressed last season while on loan in the Championship at Sheffield United where he was directly involved in 22 goals.
Supporters will be gutted
Saints supporters will be gutted that the player doesn’t want to move to St Mary’s Stadium and it’s no surprise given those impressive numbers during the last campaign.
However, given the player has links to both Everton and Forest they shouldn’t feel hard done by. Gibbs-White worked with the Toffees’ sporting director Kevin Thelwall in the Wolves academy and was also coached by Forest boss Steve Cooper in the England youth set-up.
Is Gibbs-White better than Ward-Prowse?
The club could have also found themselves in a bidding war for the player, with Everton already told that their £25m valuation is too low.
Southampton were always behind in the race to sign him, and the focus now needs to turn to keeping hold of their captain, James Ward-Prowse, with Manchester United linked with his signing recently.
A move for Gibbs-White might have been a safety net for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side as the player would make a great replacement if the skipper were to leave, or even a great partner if he stayed.
When you compare the two statistically, you can see why, as the Wolves man beat Ward-Prowse in many categories last season including creating twice as many (16) big chances according to SofaScore.
He would have been a great addition for Saints but it wasn’t meant to be, and perhaps now the club will show even more reluctance to let go of their leader.
A duo of Gibbs-White and Ward-Prowse is something we would have liked to have seen, and it could have really propelled Southampton closer to the top 10.
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