Southampton have joined the hunt for Fulham left-back Joe Bryan and will reportedly rival Watford for his signature.
Ralph Hasenhuttl is eager to bolster his ranks and is thought to have identified the 26-year-old as an ideal candidate to offer Ryan Bertrand competition in defence.
Could Bryan leave Fulham this January? Five things to know…
- It has been reported by Sky Sports that Southampton are “interested” in a move for Bryan.
- The 26-year-old joined Fulham from boyhood club Bristol City last season but suffered relegation.
- He has been in exceptional form this campaign as Scott Parker’s side sit fourth in the Championship.
- Bryan has also caught the attention of Watford, with Nigel Pearson thought to be an admirer.
- Watford have turned a corner in recent weeks but the threat of relegation continues to loom and they’re 5/2* to go down this season.
The Saints were teetering on the brink of collapse following a desperate 1-0 defeat to West Ham last month, which left them languishing in the relegation mud.
However, a run of five unbeaten games has seen Hasenhuttl’s side climb up the Premier League ladder and they are now seven points from danger.
That impressive purple patch includes wins over Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City, and Hasenhuttl now looks set to build on his fine work by adding to his squad and keeping impetus high for the second half of the campaign.
Bryan has been in stellar form for Fulham and has naturally garnered the attention of Premier League sides, helping guide the capital club to fourth in the second tier.
The 26-year-old has a wand of a left boot and is renowned for his crossing ability and surging runs, which have yielded three assists and one goal this term.
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Hasenhuttl has made no secret about his desire to strengthen in the full-back department, telling reporters last month that he is desperate to add firepower to his defensive flanks.
When asked about the importance of the January window, he replied: “Absolutely important. We must see that we get some new players in. We know this. The summer window was not perfect for us.
“It is absolutely clear that we must do something with the full-back positions. This is definitely a position we’re looking at for the moment and we will do something.
“We have enough quality to score, we score nearly always, but the defence is definitely something we must improve and do something in the transfer market.”