On December 9th, we covered an interview Ralph Hasenhüttl had given to German newspaper Bild about taking over at Southampton.
He spoke about how the move came about: “It all began with an extraordinary phone call with Ralph Krueger, followed by other interesting parallels in our philosophy. I understand if some rate my new task at first glance as supposed regression. On closer inspection, however, you quickly recognise the opportunities that are also offered in the relegation battle.”
And also on potential transfers: “Our squad is well-staffed for numbers. I have to get an accurate picture of the quality by the end of the year and then we will decide. It cannot be ruled out that in winter one or another newcomer comes to us.”
There were a few things we left out, for various reasons.
For example, Bild said ‘The English’ have problems saying Hasenhüttl, so asked the manager if it’s ok if he’s just known as Ralph: “Yes, that’s just easier. Here I am Ralph.”
He also talked about driving on the other side of the road (it’s all going fine, no need for motorists in Southampton to worry), and was asked if he’d got any tips from Jurgen Klopp.
Probably sick of being asked about the Liverpool manager, Saints’ new man said: “No, because I want to make my own experiences… The only person I talked to was Pascal Gross. He was a player in Ingolstadt with me, I have regular contact with him.”
We left it out because it would have resulted in endless transfer rumours, so at Sport Witness Towers we resolved to unearth the quote again once the Brighton & Hove Albion player had inevitably been linked.
It took 3 days.
The Daily Express have claimed: ‘Hasenhuttl, who wants to add more pace to his side, is also interested in Brighton’s 27-year-old German midfielder Pascal Gross, who is valued at about £5m.’
Brighton would likely chuckle at such a fee for the 27 year old.
Now, we can’t tell you whether the rumour is true or just the inevitable claim that was always going to be made regardless of veracity. But what we can tell you, or rather Ralph can, is that the pair speak to each other regularly.
Which should add fuel to the fire.