Saints have secured their second big money signing of the summer by landing Che Adams on a five-year deal from Birmingham for £15m.

The move brings to an end the club’s long-running pursuit of the 22-year-old forward who Saints tried to lure to St Mary’s during the January transfer window with the club claiming to have beaten off stiff competition from other Premier League sides for his signature.

Ralph Hasenhuttl is understandably delighted to add Adams to his squad having identified the pacy and strong striker, who scored 22 goals for Birmingham last season, as a key target this summer.

He said: “Che fits the profile of player we want to bring to Southampton and is very driven to show what he can do at the highest level.

“We have been monitoring his progress for some time now. He has shown a desire to join us above all other clubs, which shows the positive reputation Southampton has built for developing young players.

“I am delighted to have signed Che and Moussa ahead of the start of pre-season. They are both young, dynamic players with the level of enthusiasm and hunger we are looking for that can help us improve as a team.”

Adams is Saints’ second major signing of the summer following the £14m move for Moussa Djenepo.

He added: “I’m delighted. There was interest in January, when it didn’t quite happen, but I’m happy now that it’s all gone through.

“You can see with the track history – the amount of young players they’re playing, the gaffer’s belief in the young players, the squad in itself – where the club is going to be. I want to be part of that.”

Adams joined Coventry City’s academy in 2003, aged just seven.

Saints’ newest addition spent seven years with the Sky Blues before they released him in 2010.

After the setback, Adams took a step down to play for Oadby Town where he was spotted by Ilkeston Town.

After a sterling season for Ilkeston he was snapped up by Sheffield United in 2014 Leicester-born Adams played for the Bramall Lane outfit for two years, making 55 appearances and scoring 15 goals.

Birmingham snapped up the 22-year-old for a fee believed to be around £2m in the summer of 2016.

His stock continued to grow during the three years he spent in the Midlands, with last season being his most prolific.

Adams netted 22 goals last season which led to him being named as Birmingham’s Player of the Year, as well as being shortlisted for the Championship Player of the Year and named in the Team of the Season at the EFL Awards.