Bayer Leverkusen are gaining momentum in their efforts to tie up a deal for Southampton forward Nathan Tella.
German newspaper Bild reports that Die Werkself have lodged an official bid worth €18 million for the English forward.
Leverkusen are still looking to replace Moussa Diaby, who joined Aston Villa over the summer in a deal worth €60m plus add-ons.
Despite his non-existent experience in the top flight, Southampton’s Tella has been identified as a preferred candidate to fill the void in forward areas.
The former Burnley loanee caught Leverkusen’s attention as he fired the Clarets to the Championship title with 17 goals in 19 league outings last season.
Despite his goalscoring exploits at Turf Moor, Tella has failed to impress at the top level with one goal and two assists to his name in the Premier League.
However, Leverkusen are willing to turn a blind eye to his concerning statistics but may need to do better than their initial proposal, with Southampton holding out for around €20m.
Any agreement for Tella will see Leverkusen smash their transfer record for the summer, with Victor Boniface currently their most expensive signing, having joined from Union Saint-Gilloise for €16m.
Tella could also become the eighth summer signing to link up with Xabi Alonso’s side, with Leverkusen determined to improve on their sixth-place finish from last season.
The 24-year-old appears to be the right profile to replace Diaby with the pacy Englishman comfortable with both feet, while his work rate could also come in handy for the Germans.
However, his eye for goal is undoubtedly his most eye-catching trait, and Leverkusen will hope he can replicate his impressive numbers in the Bundesliga.
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