Since May 2014, Southampton have lost an insane eight players and a head coach to members of the Premier League’s top six, so it is understandable that Tottenham are confident of raising the evacuee count to ten in their pursuit of Victor Wanyama.
However, there is a very good reason to believe that the Kenyan midfielder won’t go the way of Mauricio Pochettino, Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Calum Chambers, Toby Alderweireld, Nathaniel Clyne and Morgan Schneiderlin despite asking to leave.
In this period of mass exodus, the Saints haven’t allowed a single first-teamer to depart during the season. Last summer’s managerial change and five high-profile sales were all conducted by the end of July, the only winter exit involved the underused Jack Cork and this window’s outgoings were finalised by mid-July.
Yes, the south coast club concede players to the elite more often than any other side, but they are no punch-bags. On the contrary, they are skilled at ensuring the deals are done on their terms and with plenty of time to identify and secure the ideal replacements, not the first thing on the shelf.
So while Daniel Levy may get a kick out of stalling business until the closing minutes of the window, he is unlikely to find willing accomplices in Southampton, even more so because they are sure not to be too fond of Spurs for pinching their boss and then sabotaging their Alderweireld arrangement.
Saints chief Ronald Koeman is relaxed despite Wanyama being omitted from their last two games on account of not being “mentally and physically good enough to play”, observing that they took a similar stance on Schneiderlin last year and saw it through.
He said: “Nobody is for sale in this team… Maybe it is good for Victor to talk to Morgan, because I think he is happier now than he was last year even to do the move he wanted at that moment.
“After losing again for this season some good players, it was the same statement we did with Morgan last year. No change, nothing. We need that commitment from the players.”
The bwin.com odds reflect the news.bwin interpretation of this saga, with Wanyama 7/10 to remain with Southampton and 51/50 to be granted his transfer to White Hart Lane.