Saints Need Premier League Survival to Sign Barcelona Outcast

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Southampton must stay in the Premier League if they are to land Barcelona striker Paco Alcacer, declares the Daily Mirror.

The 24-year-old was on the Saints shopping list last summer, but the south coast club failed to persuade the Spain international to leave the Camp Nou. Southampton find themselves embroiled in the relegation battle because they are struggling to score and Alcacer is seen as the solution.

Born close to the city, Alcacer made his name with Valencia, scoring 43 goals in 124 appearances with his final two seasons at the Mestalla the most productive with 24 goals in La Liga.

That burgeoning reputation convinced Barcelona to pay Los Che €30m in 2016 and Alcacer signed a five-year deal with the Blaugrana. Most of his appearances have come off the bench or filling in when injuries and suspensions required.

It hasn’t been plain-sailing for the 13-times capped Spain international. Despite scoring six times, he isn’t a regular in Julen Lopetegui’s squads and has little more than an outside chance of making the squad for this summer’s World Cup finals.

Saints boss Mark Hughes remains popular in the Catalan capital and the club hopes to cash in on that reputation to attract the player whose reality hasn’t quite matched up to his dreams.