Can Southampton pull off this summer's biggest transfer coup with Kai Havertz?

Mark Hughes new manager of Southampton looks on prior to The Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final match between Wigan Athletic and Southampton at DW Stadium on March 18, 2018 in Wigan, England.

Premier League trio Arsenal, Liverpool and Southampton are all going head-to-head for Bayer Leverkusen's Bundesliga phenomenon Kai Havertz.

Dortmund's German defender Marcel Schmelzer, Dortmund's Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin  and Leverkusen's German midfielder Kai Havertz vie for the ball during the German First division...

The stars really need to align before Southampton can have a genuine hope of winning the race for one of European football’s most coveted young talents – Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz.

According to The Sun, the Saints are up against two bonafide Premier League giants in Liverpool and Arsenal for the 18-year-old playmaker. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will know Havertz very well thanks to his knowledge of German football while Arsenal sent scouts to watch him during last week’s 5-2 U19 win against Norway.

So it almost goes without saying Southampton’s hopes rest massively upon Premier League survival. After the dire 3-0 loss at West Ham on Saturday, however, Mark Hughes’ side are 18th with six games to go.

Mark Hughes new manager of Southampton looks on prior to The Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final match between Wigan Athletic and Southampton at DW Stadium on March 18, 2018 in Wigan, England.

But if they pull off an escape, and somehow convince Havertz to choose St Marys over Anfield and The Emirates, they would be completing a momentous coup that would give the fans something to cheer about after a desperate season.

Even at 18, Havertz would probably be the most naturally talented player in Southampton’s squad and they shouldn’t worry about a lack of first-team experience. The 6ft 2ins visionary, cut from the same cloth as Mesut Ozil, has started 32 Bundesliga games in the last two years, scoring or assisting 17 goals in that time.

Bayern Munich's defender Philipp Lahm (L) and Leverkusen's midfielder Kai Havertz vie for the ball during the German First division Bundesliga football match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen...

"Kai has exceptional abilities and is already blessed with a footballing maturity that sets him apart from other players of his age,” Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller told the Bundesliga website last June.

“He has huge potential, which will come to the fore even more in the coming years."

But will he realise that potential at Southampton? To say this would be a dream signing is an understatement.

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