Earlier on Monday, we relayed some news from France regarding the future of Mohammed Salisu and Southampton’s involvement in the matter.

The bottom line from Foot Mercato was that the Real Valladolid defender preferred a move to the Premier League, with the Saints holding ‘a lead’ over the competition, which mostly consists of Rennes.

Well, that’s now been confirmed by the French club’s new president, Nicolas Holveck, who spoke to the media ahead of the team returning to training for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic brought the country’s sports to a close.

Relayed by Foot Mercato, he said: “Salisu for now gives his priority to the Premier League. To force a player despite having an agreement between clubs, it’s not something we really want to do. We’ve done everything to convince him, but he seems to want to go to the Premier League.

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“We want players who want to come here. It’s not a criticism of Salisu, who, when we exchanged, seemed very sincere. He prefers a country that speaks English. We aren’t going to force people”.

That does indeed give Southampton and Ralp Hasenhüttl a big advantage in the matter, but there’s still plenty of time for things to change.

It’s believed Rennes reached a €12m agreement with Valladolid, meaning the Saints know what needs to be done to buy the centre-back.

As for the personal terms with the player, if he wants to go to the Premier League that badly, he’ll probably say yes quite quickly.