Leo Baptistao’s move to the Premier League has been a long time in coming.
The Brazilian youngster, who once played alongside Neymar in his homeland, was also on the radar of Liverpool after scoring six times in 17 games in Spain’s top flight – stepping into the void left by none other than Michu following his departure to Swansea City the previous summer.
Five years on, however, Baptistao is back among the gossip columns. Manchester United and Liverpool may no longer be interested these days in a player whose career has never really taken off but Baptistao still has plenty of admirers.
According to Calciomercato, Serie A high-flyers Roma see the 25-year-old as a potential back up option for Edin Dzeko. But a move to England could be on the cards again with Southampton also mulling over a January move.
England bound at last?
Prior to Saturday’s 4-1 thrashing of a dismal Everton side, The Saints had struggled for goals this season. And The Mail reports that Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long, who has not scored since the spring, may even be sold in January.
The money raised from their exits could fund a move for Baptistao, whose buyout clause at current club Espanyol is understood to be around £24 million – which would make him Southampton’s record signing.
A rangy and deceptively skilful striker, Baptistao has never been the most prolific of goalscorers however. He has just three in 12 starts for Espanyol this season and has never hit double figures in Spain’s top flight.
But his drilling ability, skill and vision could make him a versatile and creative threat to a Southampton side who have looked a little toothless in attack.