Having fought off interest in him during the summer transfer window, Southampton now hope to tie Victor Wanyama to a new contract at St Mary’s.
The Kenyan has become a key member of the Saints midfield since joining from Celtic in a £12.5million deal back in 2013, and his presence is even more important following the departure of Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United. But with Tottenham Hotspur keen on his signature, the player is thought to have asked his employers for a transfer this summer.
However, Southampton were reluctant to consider letting Wanyama leave the club, and besides, no offer was ever received from White Hart Lane. This didn’t prevent the midfielder from becoming unsettled though, and this led to Ronald Koeman leaving him out of the side which beat Norwich City at the weekend citing he was not mentally ready to feature in the game.
Now the window has closed, the midfielder will likely be considered for selection when the Premier League resumes with the trip to West Bromwich Albion in 10 days. Indeed, there is even a chance that when they take the trip to the Hawthorns, Wanyama may be tied to a new long-term contract after executive director Les Reed confirmed discussions have already begun.
“We’ve offered him the opportunity for a long-term extension,” he told Sky Sports. “We’d like to tie him down for another five years. Whether that’s possible or not, I don’t know. He was a little bit unsettled and I think that has to happen probably at most clubs with different players. Now it’s over, he’s gone home to Kenya and I think he’ll come back and be settled and raring to go.”
Prior to the deadline Southampton completed the signing of Virgil van Dijk, another signing from Celtic, who joins on a five-year deal for a fee of £11.5million. The 24-year-old had been linked with a move to Everton in recent weeks, but it is the Saints who have won the race for his signature and the centre-half admits the ambition of the South Coast club played a key part in his decision.
“It was a very easy decision,” he told the official club website. “This is a very ambitious club, who have been doing very well in the last couple of years. It’s a great place to be and it’s the right step for me. For me now to get the opportunity to play in the Premier League is unbelievable and I will enjoy it. I know it’s an ambitious club – they have been through a lot throughout the years.”
IN: Virgil van Dijk (Celtic £11.5m), Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord £10.5m), Juanmi (Malaga £5m), Oriol Romeu (Chelsea £4m), Cedric Soares (Sporting Lisbon £3.6m), Cuco Martina (FC Twente undisclosed), Maarten Stekelenburg (Fulham loan), Steven Caulker (Queens Park Rangers loan).
OUT: Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United £25m), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool £12.5m), Emmanuel Mayuka (Metz undisclosed), Artur Boruc (Bournemouth free), Jos Hooiveld, Omar Rowe, Jake Sinclair, Dani Osvaldo (all released), Sam Gallagher (MK Dons loan), Jack Stephens (Middlesbrough loan).