Southampton defender Wesley Hoedt feels that a £7 million price-tag could scupper his chances of sealing a permanent move to Royal Antwerp this summer, while speaking to Het Nieuwsblad.
Considering that only four players in the history of the Jupiler League have cost more than £7 million, the Dutch international centre-back probably has a point. Especially ahead of a summer in which big-money transfers are likely to be few and far between.
Hoedt has loved his time in Belgium but, now that the 2019/20 campaign is over, the 26-year-old is now facing an uncertain future.
It seems unlikely that Southampton will hand a second chance to a £15 million outcast who has not made a single appearance in those iconic red and white stripes since November 2018.
And, with the Saints hoping to recoup a sizeable fee for a man who still has two years left on his contract, Hoedt admits that he is unlikely to be back for another season at Antwerp.
“You have written often enough that the purchase option is £7 million and at the moment it is unrealistic that a Belgian club pays that,” says the ex-Celta Vigo and Lazio stopper. “Even without (the ongoing global health crisis), I think it was too much.
“It means that my time at Antwerp is over.”
With even clubs in the Premier League struggling financially during an unprecedented era, maybe Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints could be tempted to perform a U-turn on Hoedt’s future.
Southampton were expected to enter the market for a new centre-back as Hasenhuttl looks to reinforce the Premier League’s joint-weakest back line. But maybe they will have to make do with what they have already got.
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