On Sunday we covered Southampton’s weekend scouting in Portugal, in window shopping trips that are becoming more frequent.
Claude Puel’s spies watched Porto beat Braga 1-0 and Rio Ave beat Tondela 3-1. That wasn’t the end of it.
Portuguese newspaper A Bola report on Monday that Southampton also had someone at the match between Vitória Guimarães and Chaves, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Of course there’s no mention of which player the club were watching.
Southampton’s determination to watch many Portuguese games recently is edging on obsession. Watching Porto and Braga makes sense, given the talent on show, but they’d be hard pushed to find a Premier League ready player at the others.
Despite that, Southampton weren’t alone, with Manchester City and Arsenal also in attendance, suggesting there may be a talent tip-off. Outside of the Champions League clubs, Southampton are comfortably attending more Portuguese games right now than anyone else in England.
Whether it’s looking for a January bargain, hence the recent spike, or longer term planning, remains to be seen.