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Triple target for Saints
Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that a deal for Victor Wanyama is not dead, while he has also confirmed Saints’ interest in Éver Banega and Leandro Damião.
A £12m fee was agreed for Celtic midfielder Wanyama last month, only for talks to stall when personal terms were being discussed with the player and his agents.
Saints boss Pochettino insists the transfer could still happen, but it is understood that it will only go ahead if the 22-year-old’s representatives alter their stance.Saints are known to be unhappy with the tactics used during negotiations, with one report recently claiming Wanyama’s agents had asked for a £1m payment to complete the deal.
Chairman Nicola Cortese has made it clear the club will not proceed unless there is a change in approach from the Kenyan international’s side.
Pochettino said: “It could happen. We have certain positions that we want to reinforce. I’m confident that our goals will be met.”
The Saints boss added: “The main thing is that we as a club are managing when these negotiations happen, so that is what is happening. We are managing when these players are going to be signed and how we sign them.” Pochettino, speaking at the start of pre-season, confirmed that the club did also have an interest in Valencia midfielder Banega and Brazilian international Damião, both reported targets.
Argentinean ace Banega would appear to be another option should Wanyama not prove possible, while £20m-rated Internacional striker Damião would not only be a new record signing but also a major addition to the forward line – an area Saints have made a priority to strengthen this summer.
However, Brazilian side Internacional maintain that they have not yet received an offer from anyone for the 23-year-old.
Pochettino, who has previously indicated he would like to mount a charge for Europe this season, said: “We manage a lot of information about very good players. One of them is Damião, also Banega and Wanyama. We are managing the situation as well as we can at the moment.
“Our goals are very clear. We are not interested in 15 or 20 players. We are interested in maybe two or three key players.
“At the same time, I also want to say our squad at the moment is really good and it is not like we are trapped in the sense that we need these players to be a better squad.
“Our squad, as it is, is really good already, but we just want to bring in two or three players that reinforce key areas in the squad to become an even better team.”
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