Ralph Hasenhuttl is keen to bring fellow Austrian Martin Hinteregger to Southampton this summer after a superb Bundesliga campaign with Eintracht Frankfurt, according to Sky Sports.
While Adi Hutter’s Eagles might have narrowly missed out on securing qualification for European football last season, absolutely none of the blame can be afforded to the most prolific centre-back on the continent.
Hinteregger is not only a ‘machine’ at the back, he also boasts a goal-scoring record than many forwards would be proud to call their own.
In 2019/20, the 27-year-old scored nine times in all competitions, including one in a 5-1 thrashing of Bayern Munich which cost former Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac his job at the Allianz Arena.
According to Sky, Hasenhuttl is now looking to raid his old Bundesliga rivals for a 45-time Austria international.
The Saints are set to reinforce their backline with the signing of Real Valladolid youngster Mohammed Salisu but, as Sky pointed out recently, the 20-year-old Ghanaian is not the only Europe-based centre-half on Southampton’s radar.
“He is one of the best goal-scorers among defenders in Europe. Martin is a really good defender who could play 100 per cent in the Champions League because he is a complete player,” Hutter told SGE4ever recently.
“When he’s in top shape, he’s a machine.”
With Jack Stephens and Jan Bednarek both rated highly by Hasenhuttl, all the signs suggest that Jannik Vestergaard will be the one to make way if Hinteregger joins Salisu at St Mary’s.
The Sun (7 November, page 58) reported that Frankfurt were looking for £20 million.