By Sam Stone

15th Jun, 2022 | 10:30pm

Alex Crook: Southampton move for Gavin Bazunu close to being formally announced

Gavin Bazunu’s move from Manchester City to Southampton is close to being formally announced despite “strong” interest from Newcastle United according to talkSPORT journalist Alex Crook.

The 20-year-old goalkeeper enjoyed a memorable loan spell at Southampton’s fierce south-coast rivals Portsmouth during the 2021/22 season.

His performances at Fratton Park have seen the keeper become Ireland’s number one and it looks as if he is set to secure a big-money move away from the Etihad in the search of first-team football.

Bazunu’s desire to be number one was reportedly enough for the keeper to turn down a move to Newcastle in favour of a move to St Mary’s.

Crook wrote via his personal Twitter account on Wednesday 15 June: “Bazunu deal close being formally announced.

“Fee is around £10m up front with add-ons taking it to £15m.

“Understand Newcastle United also showed strong interest but promise of number one jersey at Southampton and the track record they have of developing young players key to his decision.”

Great business

This is top-class business from the Saints regardless if the keeper featured for their bitter rivals Pompey last season.

Bazunu has two years of first-team football experience under his belt having previously been on loan at Rochdale in the 2020/21 season before his season-long loan at Pompey.

His young age means that he could develop further into real asset for Southampton should he continue his immense development over recent years.

The step from League One to the Premier League will be a big test for Bazunu but he certainly has the attitude and temperament to make the leap up from the third tier.

It is a shock that Manchester City were happy to let the keeper leave the Etihad with many tipping the 20-year-old as a long-term replacement for Ederson in the Manchester City net.

It will be intriguing to monitor Bazunu’s progress next season.

In other Southampton news, Southampton are also interested in forward Liam Delap.