Southampton have entered talks with Chelsea in the hope of turning striker Armando Broja's loan at the club into a permanent deal.
Broja has been a standout performer since eventually breaking into the Saints starting lineup earlier this season, scoring five times and demonstrating finishing ability and intelligent runs beyond his tender age.
Speaking before Southampton's defeat to Wolves on Saturday, head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted the club would like to keep the 20-year-old for the long-term.
“We will find the right conversation with the player, the agents, the club. What they want, what Chelsea want,” he said. “I think we should let the young lad develop his game because this is the most important thing for him to play games.
“He likes it here, he enjoys it here, we have a young team and these are all reasons why he develops his game and is getting better.
“In the end we need to make the best decision for the player, when its a win, win, win for everybody, then we will find the right decision for the summer. As long as he is our player, we will have as much fun with him and make him better.”
“In the end we need to make the best decision for the player, when it's a win, win, win for everybody, then we will find the right decision for the summer. As long as he is our player, we will have as much fun with him and make him better.”
According to The Guardian, Southampton have now moved to start talks with Chelsea over making the Albania international's move permanent.
Chelsea are expected to clarify whether the academy product forms part of their long-term plans, and the south coast club are conscious that there will be plenty of interest from elsewhere should he be deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.
Broja's current contract runs until 2026 and the report states there is a belief that the centre-forward will be given a chance to break into the Chelsea first team next season.
Chelsea have shown a willingness to both develop and sell academy talent in recent years, with the likes of Mason Mount and Reece James becoming key first-team players, while Tino Livramento, Tammy Abraham and Marc Guehi have all been sold for significant transfer fees.