Southampton are said to be eyeing a move for New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen, following the US international’s stellar form in MLS.
Nguyen, 28, was named on the three-man shortlist for the 2014 MVP award after scoring a hugely impressive 18 goals in 28 regular-season appearances – including a league-high nine game-winners – with his performances earning him a recall to the national team last month for the first time since 2007.
While he ultimately missed out on the league’s top individual accolade to LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane, the Revolution’s talisman did earn a spot on the Best XI team, and will have a chance to get one over the Irishman this weekend when their two teams face off in MLS Cup at the StubHub Center.
The Texas-native first began his professional career back in 2006 with PSV Eindhoven under current Southampton manager Ronald Koeman and now, according to futbolMLS.com, the Dutchman is keen to reunite with his former trainee in the Premier League.
Saints scouts reportedly attended the Eastern Conference Championship second-leg last Saturday, when Nguyen helped guide New England past a Thierry Henry-led New York Red Bulls side with a 2-2 draw to win 4-3 on aggregate, and his showing is said to have left a lasting impression.
While the versatile number 10 struggled to make an impression during his previous European stint, having earned just one appearance for PSV before leaving in 2009 for an indifference spell with Danish outfit Randers FC, his recent form has left little doubt that he possesses all the skills to succeed at the highest level.
With only four international caps to his name at present, Nguyen would have to be deemed an ‘exceptional talent’ under the work permit regulations in order to make the move across the Atlantic, but it remains to be seen whether Southampton will further their interest from here, with Fulham named as another potential suitor.