Not so long ago, it looked like about half the Premier League were hot on the heels of a man who scored more open-play goals than any other Championship player in 2020/21, Ivan Toney included.
But with West Ham, Everton and Brighton now looking elsewhere – and with Norwich also turning their sights to more affordable targets – it seems that the pursuit of Armstrong has quickly become a one-horse race.
Blackburn are refusing to budge on their lofty valuation for a striker who will be a free agent next summer.
According to The Athletic, Tony Mowbray’s Rovers want £15 million minimum after Armstrong found the net 29 times last season; a tally no Blackburn player has reached since a fresh-faced Alan Shearer in the mid-90s.
Are Southampton now the clear front-runners for Blackburn’s Adam Armstrong?
Norwich are desperate to avoid repeating the mistakes they made back in 2019, but Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke appear to be operating with one hand tied behind their back.
A club operating on a stringent, sign-low, sell-high transfer policy are reluctant to pay more than £10 million for a single player, a stance which also scuppers their hopes of landing Philip Billing and Sebastiaan Bornauw.
The Athletic adds that Norwich have been left choking on Southampton’s dust in the chase for Armstrong too.
That is not to say that the one-time Newcastle United youngster is destined to be a Saints player by the time the summer is out, however.
And, according to The Sun (18 June, page 61) the two clubs are ‘miles apart’ in their valuation, with the Saints now looking to include Michael Obafemi as a potential makeweight in order to drive down Armstrong’s prohibitive price-tag.