It is looking increasingly likely that Scottish winger Robert Snodgrass has played his last game at Elland Road but the Cutter understands that his destination may not be Norwich as widely predicted.
Canaries boss Chris Hughton admitted on Monday that he may have to play the long game in his pursuit of the 24 year old after seeing two firm bids of £1.5m then £2m+ rejected by Leeds but although he remains confident the newly installed gaffer will be perturbed to hear of competition coming in from the south coast.
Southampton have been linked in some quarters to Snodgrass since their promotion to the top flight in May but have made no secret of their preferred wide option being Palace whizz-kid Wilfried Zaha. Indeed Saints boss Nigel Adkins was hopeful of completing a double swoop last week at the Palace by bringing in both Zaha and team-mate Nathaniel Clyne. In the event only the latter signed and Southampton are becoming increasingly exasperated by the blisteringly quick winger ironically dragging his feet in committing to them. Though they remain favourites to grab the £6m rated starlet Zaha is seriously pondering his other options which include Villa, Sunderland and German side Hoffenheim. The feeling from his representatives is that this move is critical in announcing the arrival of a major talent and future England international and there are concerns about Southampton’s ability to establish themselves in the Premier League.
Snodgrass may be the Saints’ plan B but he is also viewed as a more straightforward purchase. With the player refusing to commit his future to Leeds and with only a year remaining on his present contract the Yorkshire club have been forced to omit him from a recent friendly and admit defeat in retaining him. They are now willing to cash in but only for the right price as Snodgrass has been a revelation since he moved south of the border, so much so that Neil Warnock was propelled into handing him the captain’s armband late last season in the hope it might inspire Snodgrass to stay and continue his fantastic rampaging football in their forthcoming promotion-challenging campaign.
Alas this ploy, and others, have failed but at least Southampton’s interest will be some form of consolation as it means a fair price can now be demanded if a bidding war ensues.
The Canaries have the significant advantage of having already established dialogue with the Leeds board from their previous efforts and significantly Snodgrass himself reportedly favours a move to East Anglia as it would mean reuniting with ex-team mates Jonny Howson and Bradley Johnson.
Should their approach for Zaha fall through however Southampton would be more inclined to offer something closer to Snodgrass’ true worth.
It looks like Hughton is right and this one could indeed go right to the wire.