Southampton boss Ronald Koeman confirms interest in Eljero Elia

Ronald Koeman

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has confirmed his interest in signing Werder Bremen winger Eljero Elia.

Reports in the last few days have strongly linked Werder Bremen's Dutch winger Eljero Elia with a £4m move to Southampton, and now Saints boss has confirmed that a deal could be done.

"He's one of the players on our list to bring in in January. It's still not done but I'm interested," revealed Koeman in his press conference earlier today. "If finally the player signs for Southampton, I think it's a good option because we need at least one player up front, because we will lose Sadio Mane in January; he will play in the African Cup of Nations, and we need more than one player in that position."

"[Elia] is a good option. He was a Dutch international and had a not-so-good time in Germany but I believe in the qualities of the player," he continued.

Koeman then explained what exactly he likes about Elia, and his description suggests that he's being viewed as a direct replacement for Mane.

"He's a wing player, and normally we play always with a left wing player and a right wing player. We like, in our style of play, to have fast people who can play one against one and with qualities. He's one of our options," added Koeman.

Elia, 27, dazzled with Hamburg and played a cameo role in the Netherlands run to the World Cup final in 2010, but has seen his career stall in recent seasons after underwhelming spells with Juventus and now Werder Bremen.

The pacey winger will be known to Koeman given his reputation in the Netherlands, and if Elia can stay focused at Southampton, they may have a steal on their hands - but Koeman did also add that initially, Elia will only join Southampton temporarily.

"If the deal is OK, then it will first be a loan deal," said Koeman, suggesting that a permanent deal is in the pipeline if Elia impresses on the South Coast.

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