Groninghen director Mark-Jan Fledderus has admitted that Southampton’s hopes of signing Deyovaisio Zeefuik are in doubt with the highly-rated right-back uncertain about a move to England, while speaking to Fox Sports.
One of the summer’s oddest transfer saga is showing no signs of ending.
It is no secret that Southampton have made a new right-back their main priority, with Cedric Soares out of contract and Kyle Walker-Peters returning to Tottenham after an impressive loan spell on the South Coast.
While Dutch U21 international Zeefuik has emerged as one of their top targets, it seems the man himself is not exactly jumping at the chance to walk a familiar path from the Eredivisie to St Mary’s.
Fledderus admits that Southampton have offered the £5 million fee that Groningen are looking for, but that does not mean a transfer is imminent.
Far from it.
As it stands, Zeefuik is holding out for a move to Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin instead, providing the Saints with a rather sizeable hurdle which must be overcome.
“In the end, the player must want to go there, otherwise you still have nothing,” Fledderus says when discussing Southampton’s interest.
“Deyo has a contract with us for another eleven months. We would prefer to keep him. I tried to renew (his contract), but he didn’t want it and I understand that too.”
Hertha Berlin might have deeper pockets than most now thanks to some much-needed investment, but even one of the most ambitious, big-spending clubs in Germany are not willing to meet Groningen’s demands for a swashbuckling right-back.
Speaking to RTV Noord last week, Zeefuik admitted that he would rather join Hertha than Southampton. But he might have no choice but to accept his second choice with the Berlin giants unwilling to budge.
“The problem is that Fledderus just wants to deal with Southampton and push me that way (towards England). He supposedly wants the best for me, but I want to decide myself.”