Fulham have agreed a fee with Southampton for their Gabonese midfielder Mario Lemina, according to France Football.
The 26 year-old has spent the last season on loan with Galatarasay, where he made twenty appearances alongside Jean Michael Seri as Fatih Terim’s finished a disappointing sixth in the table. The Turkish club were keen to try and land Lemina on a permanent deal, but the same financial considerations that have dogged their pursuit of Seri made this impossible. Lemina arrived at St. Mary’s from Juventus in August 2017 for a club-record fee believed to be more than £15m but has struggled to showcase his full potential with the Saints, making 52 appearances in two seasons and scoring two goals.
He had been in and out of a powerful Juventus side that won back-to-back doubles during his time in Italy and came through the Lorient academy set-up before making the move to Marseilles in 2013. Lemina has won eighteen senior caps for Gabon, scoring three goals, having switched allegiances to the land of his birth after helping the French under-20 side win the World Cup back in 2013.
Fulham are also close to completing the capture of Saints midfielder Harrison Reed, who spent last season on loan at Craven Cottage, with a permanent deal said to be imminent.
UPDATE: Various reports now suggesting that the Lemina deal will be an initial loan, with an option to buy, if it goes through.