Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long is set to join Southampton according to the Mirror. Southampton are thought to have agreed a £12m move with Hull City for the 27-year-old.
Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez was thought to be Ronald Koeman’s top target, but the Mexican is not keen on a move to the south coast. A move for former Cork City striker Long is a surprise considering that the striker only joined Hull City in the January transfer window.
Long joined Hull City on a three-year contract and scored 4 goals in 15 appearances. Hull City’s fortunes did however improve when the striker joined the Tigers with Steve Bruce’s side comfortably avoiding relegation.
The Tigers paid £7.5m for the Irish striker’s services and are now set to a £4.5m profit on the player they just signed in January. Long scored eight goals in both the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons and just seven last season.
Long does however have the suitable attributes for the hustle and bustle of Premier League football, blessed with pace to run in behind and the power to unsettle centre halves. If he can improve his finishing ability Southampton have acquired a good replacement for Rickie Lambert.
The Tipperary native has scored eleven goals for the Boys In Green. The 27-year-old’s most prolific season was in 2010-11 when he scored 23 goals for Reading.
Long now looks set to become Ronald Koeman’s sixth signing of this transfer window as he looks to add to a squad that has been decimated by the high profile departures of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren and Calum Chambers.
Long is set to join Ryan Bertrand at the club, who joined from Chelsea in a loan deal. Striker Graziano Pelle has joined after moving from Feyenoord and Koeman has also added Dusan Tadic from FC Twente. Fraser Forster is another recent acquisition, joining from Celtic.
It now looks like Southampton are set to purchase Shane Long in what looks a relatively surprise move as the Irish striker had not been linked with a move away all summer.
Dan Dalton, Pundit Arena.