As reported by Bild, Werder Bremen GM Thomas Eichin suggested that the Saints were close to signing Elia permanently, being currently on loan from the German side, but Ronald Koeman has told VI that no decision has been made as yet.
The 28-year-old winger has made nine appearances for the Saints since signing temporarily in January, and has scored two goals. Impressing in a Southampton team who are currently stuttering in the league, Elia looks to be keen on joining the South Coast club, and Eichin has suggested that a deal could be close, with the Saints ‘satisfied’ at his progress.
They have the option to purchase the Dutchman at the end of the loan, and one would suspect that they would make moves prior to the close of the season, so as to guarantee they secure his signing. Eichin admitted that other English clubs are interested in Elia, but Southampton look to have the advantage due to his current spell at St Mary’s.
With Eichin hinting that a decision had already been made to see the winger sign permanently in the summer, one would expect Saints head coach Koeman to agree with such a statement. However, when speaking to the media, the Dutch coach has confirmed that no decision has yet been made on the future of Elia and that he will be holding off for a few more weeks before deciding whether to sign him full-time.
Quoted by VI, Koeman said: “We have not made a decision about it [Elia’s signing]. We do this in a few weeks.”
Considering the other clubs that are reportedly interested in Elia, and his success at St Mary’s, Koeman may be wise not to wait a ‘few weeks’ before passing judgement on the future of the star winger.