Southampton have turned down a €10m (£8.8m) offer for Carlos Alcaraz but remain in negotiations with Racing Club.
Alcaraz, 20, has included a €25m (£22m) release clause in his contract with Racing Club in hopes of a transfer fee closer to that figure.
The Argentine side are awaiting an improved offer from Southampton as talks continue.
Sources close to Alcaraz have indicated the player wants the move and believe Southampton will make an improved offer on his opening bid.
Southampton are on the hunt for a new midfielder and Alcaraz are at the top of this month’s shortlist.
Alcaraz has played his entire senior career for Racing, scoring 12 goals in 83 games.
the athlete announced earlier this week that Southampton have made signing a new No8 one of their priorities following Oriol Romeu’s summer departure to Girona. They are also keen on signing a centre-back and a forward.
The south coast side were keen to keep the experienced Romeu, but the former Chelsea midfielder expressed his desire to seal a move to his homeland.
Aside from James Ward-Prowse and 18-year-old Romeo Lavia, Nathan Jones’ only other midfield options are Ibrahima Diallo, whose future is far from certain, and Arsenal loanee Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Like Alcaraz, Mohamed Elyounoussi can play in several positions in midfield but only has six months left on his current contract.
Southampton need reinforcements after winning just three of their 18 Premier League games this season.
They are currently at their lowest point in the Premier League, with Jones leading his side to four straight defeats in the top flight since taking the reins from Ralph Hasenhuttl in November.
Southampton returned to winning ways in the FA Cup on Saturday as they beat Crystal Palace 2-1 and advanced to the fourth round.
They host Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday and then return to the Premier League on Saturday when they travel to Everton.
Adam Armstrong defines Southampton’s functional approach
(Photo: Getty Images)
https://theathletic.com/4068177/2023/01/08/carlos-alcaraz-southampton-bid/ Southampton have rejected a €10m offer for Carlos Alcaraz