After Aston Villa completed a signing nobody saw coming – a £30 million bolt from the blue to snaffle Danny Ings from Southampton – one of the longest-running transfer sagas in English football could also be coming to an end.
Southampton have been linked with a move for Blackburn Rovers striker Adam Armstrong throughout the summer.
Now, with Ings packing his bags and heading for Villa Park, the South Coast club will step up their interest in a man who, while scoring a career-best 29 goals for a mid-table side last season, showcased the sort of movement, link-play and lethal finishing that would make him the ideal replacement for the England international (The Athletic).
Belligerent Blackburn remain reluctant to budge on their £20 million valuation for a striker with just one year left on his contract.
And, earlier in the window, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl suggested the Saints wouldn’t be looking to spend more than £10 million on a single player, seemingly ruling out a move for Armstrong.
Southampton need to replace Ings, could Armstrong be the man?
But with £30 million now burning a hole in Hasenhuttl’s back pocket – and with an Ings-shaped void that must be filled – Southampton now have the money, and the means, to go all-out for Armstrong.
With just two days to go until their Championship opener against Swansea City at Ewood Park, it looks increasingly likely Blackburn will have to make do without their most prolific striker since a woolly haired Alan Shearer.
Here’s what some Blackburn Rovers fans on Twitter had to say about the Armstrong to Southampton reports: