Saints in shock Alpay link

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Former Aston Villa defender Alpay is being linked with a shock move to Southampton.

Turkish media reports claim that Alpay has agreed a deal to join Southampton for next season.

The Saints are reported to have offered Alpay, who currently plies his trade at J-League side Urawa Reds, a three-year deal at St Mary's.

Alpay is thought to be keen on a return to England after failing to settle in Japan.

The 31-year-old is likely to be available for a small fee and his experience from playing in The Premiership would make him an attractive proposition.

However, any move would come as a surprise following Alpay's difficult spell in England with Villa when he left under something of a cloud after growing unsettled at the club and being involved in a stormy confrontation with England players during the European Championship qualifying game in Turkey. 

Much could depend on whether or not Southampton manage to survive relegation from The Premiership this term with the South Coast club being unlikely to land Alpay if they are playing in The Championship next season.