Southampton and Koeman edging closer to intriguing Eder capture
Southampton, 8/1 with Coral for a top four Premier League finish, are reportedly ready to bolster their attack this summer, with Braga striker Eder expected to be a target.
The Portugal poacher has 13 caps and is yet to break his international duck, though Eder is instrumental for club Braga, nicknamed ‘the Archbishops’.
Born in Guinea-Bissau, Eder chose to represent the Navigators after moving to the Iberian nation as a teenager, and was picked for Portugal’s disappointing World Cup squad in Brazil.
The supposed Southampton target is joint top scorer for minnows Braga, for whom he has struck 27 times in 78 outings.
Far from prolific, however, Eder, who has six Primeira Liga goals this campaign, would be a an unusual selection by the Saints, but coach Ronald Koeamn’s radar has proven effective so far.
Interest in the Archbishops’ leading man is likely to be attributed to the forward’s contract situation. Eder’s current deal expires next summer, so the former Academia attacker should be available for a cut price fee.
It is suggested Southampton could snap up the striker for as little as £1m, in fact, with the bargain buy allowing Koeman to perhaps concentrate on upgrading other areas of his squad.
The Dutch coach has already proven to have the magic touch with bargain buys such as Dusan Tadic and savvy loan signings like Toby Alderweireld, and Eder could soon be added to that list.
Koeman also seems to have an uncanny knack for raising the level of his players, so taking a punt on Eder may not be so outlandlish.
The 27-year-old, who has lifted the Portuguese League Cup with Braga, would likely be expected to back-up Graziano Pelle. The Italy international could be counted as another of Koeamn’s canny signings, after hitting the ground running, but his form has tailed off significantly.
Top four hopefuls Southampton certainly need support, and sparkle, in the striker position, while Pelle finds his feet again. However, Saints fans will surely be hoping Eder is not the only option the south coast club are looking at.
The St Mary’s side have one of the most robust rearguards in the Premier League, but may be forced into the transfer market after stopper Fraser Forster was sidelined with a serious knee injury.
Should Koeman have to lure a long-term replacement to protect the posts, this summer could prove to be expensive for Southampton, who are odds-on at 4/6 for a top six finish.