Charlie Austin could leave as Southampton eye move for Birmingham’s Che Adams

Charlie Austin could leave in the final days of the January transfer window as Southampton look at a move for Birmingham’s Che Adams, Football Paradise understands.

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has shipped out a number of big-name players this month and experienced striker Austin could be the next out of the door.

Press Association understands the 29-year-old is subject of interest from Premier League and Championship clubs, while Galatasaray have also been mentioned.

Austin is on the periphery of Hasenhuttl’s plans, with Danny Ings back to fitness and Nathan Redmond often deployed as a forward.

“I think we have a lot of options for two positions, so it can be a possibility that he’s leaving,” Hasenhuttl said.

“But if not then I’m happy that he’s here and helps us to chase our targets that we have.

“I think it’s sometimes the point that you as a club can’t give any player what he expects us to give him.

“So, in this situation we are trying to find a win-win situation for both sides. He’s a fantastic striker, a striker who can score for every team I think.

“He is 100 per cent professional, he shows the team that if you need him he is here.

“But as every player, also he wants to play from the beginning in the starting XI.

“And if there’s not the option here in Southampton maybe we’re looking for another club where he has this option.

“And maybe we have to talk about these things.

“We don’t send any player away but if there’s a different option for him it can be that he’s also an option for another club.”

While January has been largely focused on trimming the squad, Saints are also looking at improvements and have targeted Birmingham forward Adams.

The 22-year-old joined City from Sheffield United in 2016 and has netted 14 goals in all competitions this term.

Hasenhuttl insists any new recruits this month will be young players and only drafted in “if the baggage 100 per cent fits”.

When quizzed on Adams, the former RB Leipzig manager refused to deny any link, explaining: “A few players are interesting for us, for our way.

“I can guarantee to you it’s normally a younger player, but the package must be perfect.

“We won’t take any financial risk. We have created a bit of space where we can bring a new player in.

“If we do so it’s only if the baggage 100 per cent fits us.

“If not, then we won’t do anything. If we are 100 per cent sure that a guy that will help us, then we will do it.

“You can be sure that we have our eyes open, but if we don’t sign a player in this window maybe we’ll do it in the summer.

“To do it now can also be a possibility.”

While there is interest in Adams, Saints look light at right-back after the departure of Cedric Soares on loan to Inter Milan with a view to a permanent deal.

Wesley Hoedt, Steven Davis and Manolo Gabbiadini have also left St Mary’s this month, although there has yet to be any substantial interest in Fraser Forster.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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