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Benjani to Saints? Seems a bit unlikely
As transfer targets go, it is a highly unlikely one.
In the weird world of the football grapevine, rumours and speculation are commonplace.
In today’s English game, the top clubs are invariably linked with overseas players – generally internationals or otherwise promising youngsters.
The less established Premier League clubs are linked with either top Championship players, those that aren’t quite good enough for the elite English clubs, or overseas stars that might not be so high profile.
In the heirarchy of transfers, you do not expect a third division one – even one with a squad as good as Alan Pardew has pieced together at St Mary’s following the Markus Liebherr takeover – to be linked with a player whose last two moves have been for a combined fee of almost £8m.
It would be pushing the boundaries of credibility to suggest Pardew could bring in a player used to earning tens of thousands of pounds a week.
Certainly not one who, at 31, would still consider he is capable of making an impact in the Premier League and has been attracting plenty of interest from the top flight this summer.
The Daily Echo spoke to a source close to Benjani this morning, who said he knew nothing of the move and that the player was earning in excess of £40,000 a week at Manchester City.
Even if he was interested in dropping as low as League One, Saints would be expected to match those sorts of wages - which would shatter even what they paid their top earners in their best Premier League days.
The fact that Pardew has reportedly had a £400,000 bid for Nottingham Forest’s Nathan Tyson turned down has far more mileage.
Unlike Benjani, Tyson fits the template of players Pardew has been keen to bring to St Mary’s.
He is not a high profile signing, he has recent experience of being successful in League One, he would not be on very large wages.
Tyson is also blessed with great pace, an asset Pardew was lacking in his squad last season – hence the signing on loan of right footers Papa Waigo and Michail Antonio.
The Saints manager confessed after the midweek friendly win at Farnborough that he was keen to look at bringing in a wideman.
And the 28-year-old Tyson, who Pardew gave a Football League debut to at Reading a decade ago, can play out wide as well as down the middle.
At present Pardew’s wide options include Jason Puncheon, Adam Lallana, Lee Holmes and 16-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Of those, Oxlade-Chamberlain is by far the quickest, though obviously also the least experienced and unlikely to be a regular starter just yet.
Lallana looks a shoe in on the left hand side, while Puncheon is currently favourite for the right midfield slot – though the former MK Dons man can play through the middle.
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