Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez could be allowed to leave the club this summer amid interest from fellow Premier League side Stoke City, according to the Sun.
Under manager Claude Puel, who was dismissed as Saints boss earlier this week, the 27-year-old failed to cement his place in the Frenchman’s first XI, starting just nine of his 24 Premier League appearances, finding the back of the net on five occasions.
— NinetyMinutesOnline (@90MinsOnline) June 18, 2017
Rodriguez, who is valued at around £15 million by Southampton, has been unable to rediscover the form he showed in the 2013/14 season, when his 15 Premier League goals put him in contention for an England call-up for the 2014 World Cup, before a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament left him sidelined for 16 months.
The former Burnley man, who swapped Turf Moor for St Mary’s Stadium back in 2012, has been linked with an exit from the south coast club in the past and was reportedly interesting Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino, who wanted to sign the forward in the January transfer window, whilst West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland were thought to have had bids rejected.
Stoke have landed Darren Fletcher this summer on a free transfer but Mark Hughes will surely be keen to add other players to his group before the new season starts.
The Potters have a number of senior statesmen in their attacking ranks such as Peter Crouch and Jon Walters, with the potential addition of Rodriguez providing competition for places at the Bet365 Stadium.
A month prior to Spurs’ interest, Rodriguez spoke of his frustration at not getting regular game time, having battled his way back from long-term injuries.
“When you’re injured, you know it’s a process and you can’t play football for a period of time, but when you’re ready, that, for me, is the most frustrating thing,” the forward told Daily Mail in December.
“All I want to do is play football. It’s all about getting a feel on the pitch for when to run and how you make your runs. You get a rhythm in the game.”
Southampton are still without a manager following the sacking of Puel and are rumoured to be lining up either Frank de Boer or Mauricio Pellegrino as the Frenchman’s replacement.
Stoke have had issues with Saido Berahino since he joined the Potters and as such Hughes may well see Rodriguez as a possible upgrade this summer.