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Southampton to haggle with PSV Eindhoven over price for Jeremain Lens
PSV Eindhoven forward Jeremain Lens has emerged as a major transfer target for Saints.
It was reported yesterday that the club have made a move for the fleet-footed 24- year-old Dutch international, who can play up front or out wide.
The Daily Echo understands that Saints’ interest is serious and that discussions have taken place over a possible deal for the player.
However, negotiations currently have some way to go.
Lens signed for PSV two years ago from AZ Alkmaar for an undisclosed fee, thought to be about £5m.
With the player under contract until 2015, and having represented the Netherlands four times since joining, the Dutch giants would expect to receive a substantial sum in order to part with him.
While Saints are obviously prepared to spend this summer, there is still plenty of haggling to be done to get the asking price down to an acceptable level.
Reports in Holland today have already suggested that PSV have rejected an initial bid for the player.
If the sides can come to a suitable compromise, then Lens could be the next big coup for manager Nigel Adkins, who has already seen £7m striker Jay Rodriguez, ex-Rangers midfielder Steven Davis and England Under-21 right back Nathaniel Clyne added to his squad.
Although Lens can play as a front man, Saints are well stocked in that position and it is likely that they see him being used more in his other role, as a right winger, if they can get him to St Mary’s.
That area is one that the club are particularly keen to address before embarking on their first season back in the Premier League.
Outside of the sparingly-used Steve De Ridder, there is currently little in the way of a natural option in that position, although Guly do Prado and in particular Richard Chaplow have both performed well there.
Lens, a Dutch-Surinamese player, started his career with AZ. He made his debut back in the 2005/06 season and was used mainly as a substitute for the following two years.
In 2007/08 he went on loan to another Eredivisie side, NEC Nijmegen, playing 36 times and scoring 12 goals.
He returned to AZ, but missed most of the next season through injury.
However, he returned to fitness and really shot to prominence in 2009/10, scoring 14 goals in 37 appearances.
His form prompted PSV to snap him up and he won his first cap for the Netherlands soon after, in an August 2010 friendly away to Ukraine, scoring in a 1-1 draw.
Lens was then used in the Euro 2012 qualifying victories at home to Finland and Sweden, before his most recent appearance for the Dutch national side, in a 1-0 friendly win over Turkey in November 2010.
That same season, he scored 13 goals in 45 appearances for PSV.
Last term, he netted 11 times in 34 games.
Lens has previously been linked with moves to Newcastle, Wolves, Wigan and Fulham.