After dominant performances against Barcelona in the Champions League, pundits across the globe speculated on what club would be fortunate enough to sign Celtic’s Victor Wanyama.
It seemed the biggest clubs in the world were after Kenya’s prized possession and that, come summer 2013, it would be a mad dash to his signature.
Fast forward to the present and that mad dash is in full throttle. And while the big clubs are nowhere to be found, news out of England this past week claimed that Southampton were close to signing the Celtic midfielder. The two sides had agreed on £12 million ($17.9m) transfer fee and Wanyama was set to begin his medical.
But now the deal has come to a screeching halt with the player’s personal terms cited as the deal breaker. The Saints are reportedly pushing on in their pursuit of signing the 22 year old but, according to Celtic manager Neil Lennon, the whole situation has left Wanyama confused.
“I had a chat with Victor and he’s a wee bit confused but what we gather is that Southampton have re-ignited their interest,” said Lennon. “They’ve shown an interest again and the bid is there. It’s all about the negotiations between Saints and the agent now. I’d imagine that might get the ball rolling again.”
Sensing an opportunity to find cover for the likely sale of Marouane Fellaini, Everton are now reported to be swooping in. The sticking point for the Toffees could be the £12 million fee, an amount that tight-pocketed chairman Bill Kenwright has not come close to shelling out since paying £15 million ($22.4m) for Fellaini in 2008.
If the Saints fight off Everton and complete the deal for Wanyama, he will face stiff competition from Morgan Schneiderlin. The Frenchman enjoyed a stunning 2012-13 season leading the Premier League in interceptions (3.9 per game) and coming second in tackling (4.1 per game).