Southampton to seal deal for Germany U21 defender Armel Bella-Kotchap

Southampton remain on course in what now looks to be a youth movement on the England's south coast this summer after Saints have agreed terms with Bundesliga outfit VfL Bochum for German u21 international center-back Armel Bella-Kotchap.

The Athletic's David Ornstein confirmed the agreement between both clubs earlier this afternoon, with Southampton stumping up somewhere in the region of ~£8.5million for the talented young defender after he completed his medical with the St. Mary's outfit last night ahead of a four-year deal that could extend to at least a fifth should Saints trigger the option.

Bella-Kotchap impressed across large parts of the 2021-22 Bundesliga campaign for Bochum at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion as Thomas Reis' Die Unabsteigbaren finished nine points ahead of the drop zone after making their return to the German top fight this season, making 22-appearances in the league while starting each of Bochum's four DFB Pokal fixtures during their run to the quarterfinals.

His capture would signal the third Southampton signing of the summer after the club brought in Ireland international goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu from Manchester City as well as former Poland U21 international keeper Mateusz Lis on a free transfer.

Saints are also after Belgian starlet Romeo Lavia, who they are also hopeful of prizing away from Man City as the club looks to target head of academy recruitment Joe Smith from the holding champions, with a clear indication that Southampton are focusing on talented young players moving forward.

After the club can fall back on the successful deals of Armando Broja and Tino Livramento last season, there is little reason for Southampton to push for course correction.

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