Crystal Palace and Southampton are set to step up their pursuit of Adam Armstrong while Norwich City plan a £15 million bid for the Championship goal-machine, according to reports.
Oh Blackburn Rovers. You were so close.
With less than a month of the transfer window remaining, the finish line was in sight for Tony Mowbray. Light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Blackburn’s reluctance to budge on their £20 million asking price for a striker with one year left on his contract seemed to suggest Armstrong – last season’s 29-goal top scorer – would be sticking around to strike fear into the heart of Championship defences again in 2021/22.
But it’s not just Southampton’s pre-season preparations that have been tossed up in the air following Danny Ings’ sudden move to Aston Villa.
Armstrong may replace Ings at Southampton but Palace and Norwich in the hunt
Saints need a replacement for the departed England international and that means Armstrong, who had disappeared from the gossip columns in recent weeks, is suddenly a man in high demand once more.
The Athletic reports Southampton will step up their pursuit of the former Newcastle United loanee, although the South Coast club still have concerns about paying an eight-figure sum for a player who will be a free agent in 11 months’ time.
Then again, having lost their star man and most natural goalscorer on the eve of the Premier League season, the phrase ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ springs to mind.
Furthermore, competition from elsewhere in the top flight could force Southampton’s hand.
LancsLive reports Crystal Palace, a club with a habit of signing up-and-coming talent from the division below, have contacted Blackburn to express their interest, with Rovers now ‘bracing themselves’ for a late-window assault.
The biggest bid so far, however, has come from Carrow Road.
The Sun (5 August page 56) reports newly promoted Norwich City are offering £15 million – plus young Republic of Ireland international Adam Idah – and are prepared to make Armstrong their record signing.