Nicolai Muller isn’t a household name in European football but he could mature into a top talent should he move to the Premier League this summer. Southampton have been linked with the 29-year-old for well over a month now but those links have intensified now that Muller has rejected a contract extension with current club Hamburg. He has been on Southampton’s radar for some time and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Mauricio Pellegrino’s side make a concrete bid for the winger.
Back in 2015, he scored one of the most important goals in Hamburg’s 128-year history; a winner against Karlsruher that helped the club avoid relegation. Since then, Muller has blossomed into a fan favourite with the Hamburg faithful but he is out of contract next summer and the club may push to sell the wantaway winger in the next month.
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) July 5, 2017
With 14 goals in 49 appearances over the last two seasons, Muller has been a key figure for Hamburg but it is now time to move on. At 29 years old, Muller has to move now or he’ll never go. According to various reports, Saints and fellow Premier League outfit West Ham were interested in signing Muller back in July and a move to St Mary’s could materialise if Pellegrino is still interested.
At the time of writing, Hamburg are priced at 2/1 for relegation this season according to Bundesliga betting odds and Muller might want to get out now in order to preserve his reputation. According to various reports, Wolfsburg and Schalke, arguably better placed to avoid dropping down to Germany’s second tier, have shown interest in signing the winger and a move to a rival could be on the cards.
Hamburg want to keep the player but the club are in a difficult position. Should Saints come in with an offer that they can’t refuse, Hamburg will almost certainly accept. From there, it is a matter of convincing Muller to leave his native Germany for England and the Premier League. If Pellegrino can convince Muller that he will be a valuable member of his squad, he could push to join Saints before the end of August.
Saints could do with somebody like Muller to keep defenders on the back foot. Yes, he is a relatively unknown quantity but that could work in Pellegrino’s favour – signing the Hamburg man might be straightforward if Southampton can fend off West Bromwich Albion. His pace and tenacity out wide would certainly give Saints an edge and new dimension going forward and Shane Long could prosper from Muller’s blistering speed.
Hamburg have been flirting with relegation from the Bundesliga for a few years now and Muller knows that the club are on a downward slope. Muller was hampered by injury last season and he was sorely missed – they always tend to perform better with the 29-year-old in the side. With five goals and six assists in 22 Bundesliga appearances, Muller had a solid year statistically and Saints would benefit from his impact. Over to you, Mr Pellegrino…