Updates from Thursday, Aug. 14
Southampton have confirmed the capture of Shane Long from Hull City.
Long joins on a four-year deal, per Southampton's official Twitter:
Hull boss Steve Bruce has explained that Saints' £12.5 million bid was too good to turn down for a player he only bought midway through last season. The Hull Daily Mail provides the quotes:
We'd not been looking to sell Shane but it's a fantastic offer and we've decided to accept it.
The challenge is always to become bigger and better and this money will be put towards strengthening again.
Whether you are Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, everyone in football has got their price.
Shane Long could be on the verge of leaving Hull City after Southampton reportedly had a £12 million bid accepted for the striker.
Simon Jones of the Mail Online confirmed that the south coast team have made their move for the Republic of Ireland player after a series of high-profile exits from St Mary's.
Long only joined Steve Bruce's team in the January transfer window, but his sale would represent a £5 million profit for Hull—a price that appears too tempting to turn down and retain his services—per Jones.
Alex Crook of the Mirror explained that Ronald Koeman made the huge offer for Long after failing in his pursuit of Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez.
Long hit four goals in his 15 appearances for Hull last term, per Crook, and appeared to be a vital component in Bruce's armoury for the season ahead.
Southampton have had a sizeable transfer kitty burning in their pockets for several weeks after the transfers of Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert, Calum Chambers and Adam Lallana, and now look to utilise those funds.
The loss of Lambert to Liverpool has heightened the need to find an experienced striker, and Long appears to fit the bill. But the player's lack of goals is a major issue as Southampton look to add value to their front line.
Daniel Storey of Sky Sports highlighted this issue on Twitter. The Mirror's Darren Lewis was also clearly not impressed with the size of the deal for the player:
The targeting of Long shows where Southampton are in their planning and strategy.
Last year, the Saints were magnificent as they finished eighth in the Premier League, collecting points from 26 of their 38 league matches, per Sky Sports.
But that impressive display only highlighted the talent in their squad, and ultimately it has cost them their best players.
Koeman has now tried to shut the door on any more exits and has put his foot down on Morgan Schneiderlin's potential move to Tottenham.
Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph reported the Dutch manager's words on the situation:
We said to Morgan take two days off, think about the situation, because we will not change our minds.
The situation is difficult because the player makes it difficult. We will see on Monday. I’m not so angry because there’s some different persons behind the player. Maybe Tottenham is pressing the player, maybe the agent is pressing the player.
We don’t sell Schneiderlin and he has to accept that. We can help the player, and there is always a way back.
Koeman will need to be strong in the next few weeks, because his squad is broken. Long represents poor value in terms of his price, but Southampton must rebuild quickly or face the prospect of relegation.
Long will bring mobility and know-how to the Saints' attack as Koeman puts Premier League survival as his priority in 2013-14. It is understandable that many will be shocked by such a huge offer for Long, but British and Irish players appear to come at a premium when moving between English teams.
Southampton's further issues will be replacing the creativity of Lallana, who excelled last term and forced his way into the England squad.
They have also lost the vast potential of Shaw and Chambers early in their careers, and both of these defensive entities will be difficult to replace in the coming weeks.
But the move is a good one for Long as he joins a manager looking to make his name in the Premier League.
If Southampton can create chances for him in a system built around hard work and flair, Long's price tag may not be an issue in 12 months' time if he helps his potential new team survive.