Southampton have become the latest Premier League club to break their transfer record this summer with the £16.2m signing of midfielder Mario Lemina from reigning Serie A champions Juventus.
The fee for the 23-year-old Gabon international, who has signed a five-year contract at St Mary’s Stadium, could rise to £18m depending on his success at the club and various add-ons. It eclipses the £16m the Saints paid Lille for Sofiane Boufal 12 months ago.
Previously linked with Arsenal, Liverpool, West Ham and Watford, Lemina links up with Southampton prior to their opening league match of the season against Swansea on Saturday. Vice-chairman Les Reed believes his capture represents a coup.
“Investing in a player of Mario’s quality and buying from a club like Juventus is a significant statement of intent from the club, and this is a purchase that has set another club-record fee,” said Reed.
“Mario still has his best years ahead of him, and we believe that he will not only be an excellent acquisition for us in the immediate future, but that he will also be able to realise even more of his potential here in the years to come.”
Watford, meanwhile, have splashed out £11.3m to bolster their attacking options with the signing of Fluminense and Brazil Under-20 starlet Richarlison.
The skilful forward, who can play on the wing or as a striker, scored 19 goals in 67 appearances for top-flight side Fluminense, having come through the ranks at America Mineiro.
Richarlison is eligible to go straight into Watford’s first team for their opening match of the new Premier League season, at home to Liverpool on Saturday, having already secured a work permit.
The transfer is the Hornets’ sixth major signing of the summer and is just shy of the club record £13m they paid to take Uruguay forward Roberto Pereyra from Juventus last year.