Southamtpon want Yann Karamoh’s contract row resolved to launch an £8.75million bid for the next Kylian Mbappe.
Karamoh, 18, has a year left on his contract at Caen and the French club wants to cash in on the forward.
The teenager, who is being represented by a lawyer, has been advised to run down the final year of his current terms to maximise a deal on a free.
But there are Premier League clubs willing to take him this summer and the youngster is eyeing a move to England, with Caen wanting to sell.
Everton and West Brom have kept tabs on his progress after Karamoh became a first-team regular.
And Arsenal have also been linked with the youngster, although Southampton are leading the chase for him and are likely to offer him a pathway straight to the Mauricio Pellegrino’s first team.
Karamoh plays for France Under-21 and scored five times last season from the right wing.
He can also operate as a striker which has led to comparisons with £100m-rated Mbappe at Monaco.
Karamoh would come in as a replacement for Jay Rodriguez, who has joined West Brom.
The versatile forward bagged the Saints £15m and will be hoping to reboot his career at the Hawthorns.
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