Rovers have stepped up their search for Adam Armstrong’s replacement by making a move for Michael Obafemi.
Southampton have tonight announced the signing of Armstrong on a four-year deal for what Rovers say is a ‘significant undisclosed fee’.
Any dealings with Obafemi were separate to those negotiations so were never going to mean a hold-up for the Armstrong deal.
Tony Mowbray yesterday confirmed Rovers’ interest in Republic of Ireland international Obafemi.
Things are understood to have stepped up, with sources on the south coast saying the prospect of a deal is in the hands of the 21-year-old Saints striker.
Mowbray says the club have watched him closely over the last three months, and moving into the final 12 months of his deal, Saints look to be cashing in on Obafemi.
He has scored four Premier League goals and has been highly thought of throughout his time at St Mary’s, despite injury having played a key part in restricting him to only five appearances last season, three of which came in the final month.
With Danny Ings having been sold to Aston Villa, Southampton stepped up their own striker hunt by agreeing a fee with Rovers for Armstrong, while also bringing in Chelsea forward Armando Broja on a season-long loan deal.
That appears to have freed up Obafemi to make the move should he see fit, with Che Adams and Theo Walcott other striking options on the Saints books.
Mowbray spoke highly of Obafemi when confirming the club’s interest, but stated he hadn’t spoken to the player, hinting the move would boil down to the striker, and his representatives, agreeing to it.
Should Obafemi make the move then he would follow Sam Gallagher in making the switch from St Mary’s, Gallagher having joined for £5m in 2019.
Announcing Armstrong’s signing, Ralph Hasenhüttl said: “Adam was a big target for us this summer, so we are very pleased to have added him to the squad, especially as there was a lot of interest in him from other clubs too.
“He is at a good stage of his career for him to be coming here. He is a young, dynamic player who has developed well so far and already has good experience, as well as an impressive goalscoring record, and I believe we can now help him realise even more of his potential.
“He will bring a lot of qualities to our team, and he gives us another good option in attack, which will be important for us.”