Coming off the back of Euro’s glory and a fine Premier League campaign, it’s no surprise to Southampton fans that Cedric Soares has already been linked with a number of European giants.
The latest reports have suggested that Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus are interested in the Portuguese International, with Dani Alves’s transfer to Manchester City looking all the more likely.
FC Barcelona were also believed to be monitoring Cedric earlier in the season, as their hunt for an attack-minded and natural full back goes on.
But this fine run of form for Cedric over the past 12 months doesn’t tell the full tale of his time on the south coast, and in my eyes, that is exactly why our board can’t allow such a transfer to formulate this summer.
Not too long ago under the reign of Ronald Koeman, there was a time when Cedric looked unable to adapt to the Premier League’s physical demands, and would find the opposite corner flag more often than Pelle’s head. There was clear talent inside the former Sporting fullback, but he needed to be nurtured and protected inside the team’s system in order to flourish.
So much so was the need for improvement that Koeman finished the 2015/16 season placing more trust in Cuco Martina, often consigning Cedric to the bench.
If we allow a single impressive season to be the benchmark for warranting a move away, then our transfer strategy is beyond flawed. I’m sure that the Southampton board hold the same stance, but it’s something that we shouldn’t even consider entertaining. It would show weakness to not only our fans and current crop of players, but also other teams that may wish to test our resolve with a bid.
Not to mention that at this moment in time, it’s looking increasingly likely that either one of Virgil Van Dijk or Ryan Bertrand will depart this summer. Losing two of our current backline in one single window would be one hell of a task for our recruitment department, and a cruel welcoming for Mauricio Pellegrino.
Don’t go forgetting that we’re still holding out for our Jose Fonte replacement too…
Finally however, there comes the hurdle of the reported fee that would be enough to prise Cedric away from our grips. £15M. Yes, you read that correctly.
£15M is the figure being thrown around by numerous sources, and quite frankly, I don’t believe that our board would pay even the slightest bit of attention to this offer. As many will know, Southampton operate a transfer strategy of buying low and selling high, but to accept such a bid would only complete the first half of the cycle.
When you consider the current rate at which Cedric has been developing and the fact that his contract runs until the summer of 2020, it would simply be mindless to consider a bid any time before the end of next season.