Southampton are reportedly leading the race to sign Fleetwood Town whizkid James Hill, who is also a target for Chelsea and Liverpool.
According to TEAMtalk, Southampton are in a pole position to secure the services of James Hill. The Fleetwood Town defensive prodigy is expected to leave the club in the January transfer window amid interest from almost all of the top clubs in the Premier League, including Chelsea and Liverpool.
Fleetwood Town are holding out for a hefty fee for the services of their talented 19-year-old defender. But it appears Southampton are ready to meet their demands and are weighing up a move that could see them beat their league rivals in the pursuit of Hill.
The young centre-back has made a name for himself with his performances for Fleetwood Town. At the age of just 19, he has made over 50 competitive appearances for the League One outfit, making a solid impression with his imposing figure at the back. The youngster is also blessed with pace and athleticism, making him one of the top defensive talents in the third division of English football.
Hill’s rapid rise to prominence put him om the radars of both Chelsea and Liverpool, with the latter possibly considering him as a potential replacement for Nathaniel Phillips. The Englishman has been linked with a move away from Anfield amid interest from West Ham United and Newcastle United.
However, it appears Southampton are ready to oust both the Premier League giants in the pursuit of Hill. Their desire to splash the cash on the 19-year-old is quite unsurprising, either, as the club is looking for defensive reinforcements in light of the recent injury crisis.
The Saints are indeed struggling with the injury woes of Jack Stephens, whereas summer signing Lyanco has fallen out of favour under Ralph Hasenhuttl. It has accentuated the need for a new defender, with James Hill fitting the bill perfectly as a backup option with loads of potential.
Hill’s potential move to St. Mary’s could prove to be a blow for Liverpool and Chelsea, who themselves are preparing for a potential mass exodus in the summer. Indeed, the Blues have at least four defenders whose contracts expire at the end of the season, with Antonio Rudiger, for one, subjected to a shock move to league rivals Tottenham in case he does not join Real Madrid.
As for Southampton, the deal is far from done and dusted, as they look to agree personal terms with the 19-year-old prodigy as well as reach an agreement with Fleetwood regarding the player’s potential exit in January. It will be interesting to see if any third party clubs try to hijack the deal at the last minute.