Report: Sandro Wagner rejects big-money Southampton bid for Hoffenheim stay

Mauricio Pellegrino

Southampton reportedly offered big money for Hoffenheim striker Sandro Wagner after a fine season in the Bundesliga.

With Hoffenheim qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in their history, you can hardly question Sandro Wagner’s decision to remain at the Rhein Neckar Arena.

The one-time Bayern Munich prospect has long been linked with a move to the Premier League, even stoking the flames himself by admitting an interest in trying his hand at the English game.

However, he has now moved to put an end to speculation by signing a new contract until 2020 with the Bundesliga high-flyers.

TSG Hoffenheim's Sandro Wagner reacts after the referee awards his side a penaltyWagner has scored 27 Bundesliga goals in two seasons for Darmstadt and Hoffenheim

29-year-old Wagner, who is just four months younger than Hoffenheim head coach Julian Nagelsmann, scored 12 goals in the top flight after last summer’s move from Darmstadt, earning a place in Joachim Low’s experimental Germany squad for the 2017 Confederations Cup.

Rejection

And his form unsurprisingly alerted suitors from across the channel. According to Bild, Southampton made a bid of £14.5 million, only for Wagner to reject the deal due to a desire to see through the exciting project at Hoffenheim.

This is surely a blow for new Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino. Only five Premier League sides scored fewer goals than Southampton in 2016/17. Tellingly, they made up the bottom five positions in the league table.

And although Manolo Gabbiadini’s poacher’s instinct means The Saints have a genuinely lethal goalscorer in their ranks, the injury problems suffered by Charlie Austin last season means attacking reinforcements could come in handy.

Southampton's Charlie Austin scores their first goal from the penalty spotCharlie Austin was Southampton's joint second top-scorer last season despite starting just 11 league games

Wagner, an old-fashioned number nine renowned for his aerial ability and reactions in the six yard box, could have preyed upon the crossing ability of Ryan Bertrand, Cedric Soares, James Ward-Prowse and co at the South Coast.

However, they will now have to turn their attention elsewhere.

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