Southampton and KRC Genk are in talks over a swap deal including striker Paul Onuachu and winger Joseph Paintsil, as per reporter Sacha Tavolieri.
Southampton recruited towering striker Onuachu in January in a bid to add some firepower to their attacking ranks.
Ultimately, the Nigerian has been unable to make an impact at St. Mary’s and following relegation, it has been widely expected that he’ll move on. The 29-year-old has played only 22 minutes so far this season, coming off the bench in the EFL Cup while being left out of both Championship matchday squads.
Talk of an exit has been rife and now, an intriguing rumour has emerged from reporter Tavolieri.
He says on Twitter that Belgian side Genk are keen to re-sign Onuachu and have now entered talks with Southampton over a potential swap deal that would include Ghanaian winger Joseph Paintsil.
🏴🚨🔵 EXCL. #KRCGenk start talks and work on a SWAP DEAL with #SouthamptonFC!
💡The idea would be to exchange Joseph Paintsil, the Ghanaian right winger that #SaintFC wants against Paul Onuachu.
🇳🇬 The Nigerian Striker wants to come back in Genk !
⏳ Wait&See. #mercato… pic.twitter.com/Tx8O5Wv4MQ
— Sacha Tavolieri (@sachatavolieri) August 13, 2023
Paintsil is a 25-year-old winger and was a star performer for the club last season. He netted 18 goals and laid on 14 assists in 39 games across all competitions and would be a high calibre signing for the Championship club.
Bite their hand off
It remains to be seen whether or not this potential deal comes to fruition but on the surface, swapping Onuachu for Paintsil looks like Southampton would definitely be getting the better side of this agreement.
Onuachu was a huge hit with the previous club but after his dismal spell with the Saints, getting nine-time Ghana international Paintsil in return could be huge. He was a massive goalscoring and creative threat in the Jupiler Pro League last season and can play on either wing. At 25, he’s still got plenty of time to get better too.
Burnley showed last season how successful recruiting from Belgium’s top-flight can be last season so getting someone as productive as Paintsil in return for an out of favour striker in Onuachu would present a great deal for Southampton.