Saints’ link to Portuguese defender could be fresh clue to Walsh appointment

Southampton

Southampton have reportedly been scouting Vitoria de Setubal centre-back Artur Jorge in what could be another clue to the possible appointment of Steve Walsh.

Portuguese newspaper A Bola claims Southampton are preparing an offer for Jorge in the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old has been vital to his side’s excellent defensive record this season, with Setubal having conceded only seven goals in the 11 Primeira Liga games he has started.

Only Benfica and Porto can boast fewer goals conceded than Setubal, who reports claim could be tempted into cashing in on the player if the right offer comes in..

Saints are understood to value him at €1.5m, which may be the basis for an opening bid given he has just over 18 months left on his contract at the Estadio do Bomfim.

It is interesting to note the recent reports about ex-Leicester City chief scout Steve Walsh now working for Southampton.

The man who was credited with finding the likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante for the Foxes was relieved of his sporting director’s role at Everton last year and has since been without a club.

Saints have a vacancy at the top of their recruitment set-up after Ross Wilson’s defection to Rangers and Walsh’s name has been linked with a senior position in whatever structure is put in place after a shake-up.

Walsh’s brother, Mickey, is a well-known agent in Portugal, where he finished his playing career in the 1980s, and would be able to give Southampton the lowdown on Jorge if they were thinking about taking the plunge.

The report does actually state that Southampton have been tracking the defender for many months so the interest must date back to Wilson’s time at the club.

And there are other teams outside Portugal interested, according to A Bola, which could mean a potential bidding war in January if Saints decide to act.

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