OGC Nice have confirmed the signing of Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina for an undisclosed fee.
The Gabon international only had one year left on his Saints contract, and it was reported earlier this month that a bid worth €4million (£3.4m) had been made by the French club.
The 27-year-old spent the recent campaign on loan at Fulham but couldn’t help the Cottagers avoid relegation.
He made 28 Premier League appearances, scoring one goal, as Scott Parker’s side finished on just 28 points.
Oriol Romeu, Ibrahima Diallo, James Ward-Prowse and Stuart Armstrong were all above Lemina in the pecking order at St Marys so a permanent departure seemed inevitable.
He spent most of his formative years in France with Lorient. He was promoted to their first team in January 2013 and made 18 appearances for the club before being signed by Marseille.
— OGC Nice 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@ogcnice_eng) July 24, 2021
He was sold to Italian giants Juventus in 2016 but was on the move again just a year later, when Southampton snapped him up for £15.5m.
However, he’s played just 52 times for the Saints in four years and has had loan spells at Galatasaray and Fulham.
Lemina’s achievements include two Serie A titles while with Juve, as well as two Coppa Italia’s.
Elsewhere, West Ham defender Issa Diop is a Southampton transfer target, alongside Wolverhampton Wanderers and Crystal Palace.
The Frenchman is under contract until 2023, and while the Hammers are thought to be against a loan move for the player, a large permanent offer would test their resolve.
According to Foot Mercato, Wolves, Palace and the Saints are all considering a swoop for the defender, with each side having conceded 50+ goals in the Premier League last season.
Wolves, in particular, looked a far cry from their usual, dogged selves, and new head coach Bruno Lage is said to be keen on bolstering their defensive options.
After the departure of goalkeeper Rui Patricio, they have already sought out his replacement in Jose Sa, and have so far been one of the most active Premier League clubs in the transfer market, signing Francisco Trincao on loan from Barcelona and Rayan Ait-Nouri from Angers.