With Cédric heading to Inter and not falling in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans going forward at St Mary’s, Southampton were in need of a new right-back.
One of their main targets in January appeared to be KRC Genk’s Joakim Maehle, ‘starting contacts’ a week before the end of the transfer window before seeing a late bid rejected by the Belgian side.
Currently sitting at the top of the Jupiler Pro League, Maehle’s club had no intention of weakening their squad midway through the season, but their tune could be very different come the end of the campaign.
With an 11 point lead on Club Brugge after 25 games, Genk should walk away with the title quite comfortably, and Walfoot believe they could find it hard to hold onto their stars beyond the summer.
They explain it will be ‘complicated’ for the Belgian club to turn away an offer bigger than the €12m previously offered by Southampton, and the final decision will ultimately fall to the player.
Should they qualify for the Champions League through their title win, then Maehle could easily decide to stay an extra season to get some European experience under his belt, which he wouldn’t be able to get with a transfer to St Mary’s for example.
Extra money or European football? That could be his choice come July.
Unless someone barges to the front of the queue and offers both, of course.