Deyovaisio Zeefuik is desperate to seal a switch to Hertha Berlin and is less than impressed with Groningen’s attempts to sell him to Southampton instead, while speaking to RTV Noord.
Given that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s high-octane, counter-attacking style is pretty much tailor made for attack-minded full-backs, you would think that a Dutch U21 international would be a little more positive about a potential move to St Mary’s.
Southampton are in the market for a new right-back, with Cedric Soares out of contract and Kyle Walker-Peters’s impressive loan spell from Tottenham Hotspur coming to an end.
But Zeefuik, it seems, has his heart set on joining an ambitious, nouveau-riche Hertha side whose coffers have been swelled considerably by American investment.
The Berlin giants have money to burn right now but, despite paying huge fees for Matheus Cunha, Krzysztof Piatek and Lucas Tousart, Kicker reports that Hertha have so far failed to meet Groningen’s demands.
Zeefuik is valued at £5 million, though the Bundesliga outfit are seemingly reluctant to invest more than £2.5 million.
And this has put the former Ajax youngster in a rather awkward position with Hertha clearly his preferred destination.
“I understood FC Groningen’s position in the beginning, because the club was in bad shape and had to fire people,” says Zeefuik, explaining how football’s financial crisis has hit his side hard.
“But the fact that they are now asking for a top fee for a player who has only a one-year contract makes it very contradictory.
“The problem is that (technical director Mark-Jan) Fledderus just wants to deal with Southampton and push me that way. He supposedly wants the best for me, but I want to decide about my career myself.
“I will not let Fledderus control my life. If he continues to act like this, I will go to Hertha free of charge at the end of the season (when my contract expires).”
Fledderus himself admits that Groningen are currently negotiating with Southampton and Hertha, while suggesting that the former has offered a far larger fee than the latter.