Unlike their relegated counterparts Leicester City, Southampton did not get their major player sales done early on in the transfer window, and that means there could be a turbulent last week and a half left of the market.

The Saints have had a good start to the 2023-24 Championship season with two wins and a draw from their three matches played, but they have lost key players such as Tino Livamento and James Ward-Prowse since it began, with Che Adams also looking likely for an exit in the near future.
In terms of Ward-Prowse, it was always expected that the home-grown 28-year-old would leave for a Premier League move in order to enhance his England opportunities, with 11 caps already notched and the European Championships to think about next summer.
A ÂŁ30 million deal was done with West Ham United last week but it came at a pretty tough time for head coach Russell Martin, as injuries to Will Smallbone and Carlos Alcaraz as well meant that striker Adam Armstrong had to play in a midfield position.

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It is clear that Southampton need to add in that position before the September 1 transfer deadline, and it looks as though they are well on their way to solving the problem position.

 

According to reports in Norway from VG, Norwegian under-21 international Johan Hove, who plies his trade for Dutch outfit Groningen, is closing in on a move to the Saints.

 

Hove, who only joined Groningen in January 2023, confirmed earlier in the summer that he had a release clause in his contract due to their relegation from the Eredivisie and that he wanted a better challenge, and now he looks set to get that with Martin closing in on the signature of the 22-year-old.

 

Who is Johan Hove?

Johan Hove

Hove started his career with Sogndal in his home nation of Norway and made his senior debut at the age of just 15 in in 2016 in a top-flight match against Aalesunds.

 

He continued to make irregular appearances for the next two years before making a move to Stromsgodset in August 2018, becoming a regular for them and also a goalscorer from midfield.

 

Hove netted 30 times in 125 outings in a four-and-a-half year period for the club, with his seasonal best coming in the 2022 Eliteserien campaign with 11 goals in 30 games, with that leading to a move to Groningen in January.

 

 

Scoring twice and notching two assists in the Eredivisie in 19 matches, Hove dropped into the second tier of Dutch football and it is seemingly clear that he does not want to play at that level, and he’s set to earn a move to Southampton on the back of that.
He has also been capped 24 times for Norway at under-21 level and played every minute of all three of their matches at the under-21’s European Championship this past summer.

What is Johan Hove’s contract situation at Groningen?

Hove signed a three-and-a-half year contract at Groningen when he arrived from Stromsgodset, meaning he still has just under three years remaining on the deal he put pen to paper on.

 

However, with an active release clause in his contract of an undisclosed value, Hove is now set to exit the second tier Dutch club with a real chance of Premier League football in 12 months time.

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