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TRANSFER LOWDOWN: Juanmi

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Juanmi, or Juan Miguel Jiménez López, to give him his full name, is set to become Southampton's first summer signing after the club met the €7m release fee in his Malaga contract.

Juanmi takes on Sergio Busquets and Dani Alves in Malaga colours
Juanmi takes on Sergio Busquets and Dani Alves in Malaga colours
David Ramos/Getty Images

Malaga's 22-year-old frontman Juanmi appears set to be Ronald Koeman's first new recruit ahead of the 2015/16 season, which will see Saints compete in the Europa League - their first venture into European football since 2003.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">BREAKING: Sky sources: Southampton agree £5.1m fee with Malaga for Spain striker Juanmi. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SSNHQ?src=hash">#SSNHQ</a></p>&mdash; Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) <a href="https://twitter.com/SkySportsNewsHQ/status/610497224225738753">June 15, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Southampton have triggered the €7m release clause in Juanmi's contract, with the Spanish forward enjoying interest from the likes of Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Real Sociedad in recent weeks.

However, the Malaga academy graduate is reported to have agreed personal terms with Southampton, with the deal now in its final throws. The news was broken by Spanish newspaper AS this morning, following reports of Southampton's interest in SUR - the local newspaper of Malaga - last week.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="es" dir="ltr">Juanmi, del <a href="https://twitter.com/MalagaCF">@MalagaCF</a> se va al <a href="https://twitter.com/SouthamptonFC">@SouthamptonFC</a>&#10;<a href="http://t.co/90qtTfndXG">http://t.co/90qtTfndXG</a> <a href="http://t.co/a6ANXs3l2K">pic.twitter.com/a6ANXs3l2K</a></p>&mdash; AS (@diarioas) <a href="https://twitter.com/diarioas/status/610415778823843840">June 15, 2015</a></blockquote>

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After graduating from the club's academy in August 2010, penning a five-year deal after making five senior appearances in La Liga for Los Boquerones (The Anchovies).

He enjoyed increasing involvement in the first team up until the arrival of Ruud van Nistelrooy in June 2011, making only 14 more appearances until the start of the 2013-14 season.

To-date, Juanmi has made 79 appearances in La Liga, netting on 18 occasions. He also enjoyed a brief taste of European football during the 2012-13 season.

He picked up his first cap for the senior side at national level,when he was called up by Vicente del Bosque to replace Diego Costa in March 2015, playing 62 minutes of a 2-0 friendly defeat against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.

He was also a part of the Spain U19 side that won back-to-back UEFA European Championships in 2011 and 2012, which was the country's first European Championship success at U19 level since 2007.

Following the news of the player's seemingly imminent arrival, we spoke to Spanish journalist Alberto Alvarez, to try and find out more about Juanmi.

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There's been considerable discussion about Juanmi's 'position' - what can you tell us about this?

AA: He is a striker and he considers himself a striker. No discussion about his position.

What aspects of Juanmi's game are his strongest and what can he offer to the team?

AA: He is able to create spaces for his team-mates and is able to score goals without help. He has a mix between speed and mobility.

What type of character is Juanmi?

AA: He is really polite and a good person. He tries to learn and improve all the time. On the pitch, he has never had problems with other players. Del Bosque, the Spanish coach, is really happy with him.

Juanmi is noted for being small and slight, do you feel this could pose problems for him in adapting to the English game?

AA: Not really. It is true that Spain have small and slight players but if you see the progression of players like Silva or Navas you can see they have adapted really well. I think his first season will be to know the league and the team and in the second one, we will see the real Juanmi. I hope I'm wrong and we can see Juami scoring a lot of goals next season.

He currently has one cap for the Spain senior squad, and he's only 22, so how highly-rated is Juanmi?

AA: Del Bosque has seen in Juanmi a different striker for the Spanish team. The Spanish coach has given him an opportunity in the Spain senior squad after this brilliant season. I'm sure Del Bosque has said that he can be one of the future strikers if he keeps playing well.

And for the player - he supposedly had other offers - do you think Southampton is a good career move for Juanmi?

AA: No doubts. I think it is the best choice for him. He can improve so much playing in the Premier League. Spain have other examples of players who moved to England and now they are better players.

Juanmi is somewhat of an unknown quantity to most Saints fans, so can you draw comparisons to any other players that we may be more familiar with?

AA: In Spain, we compare him with Raúl Gonzalez, ex Real Madrid player. They both don't need to look at the goal, they know where it is. Actually, Raúl is an idol for him.

Do you predict that Juanmi will prove to be a good addition to the Premier League?

AA: I'm completely sure.

As I said, his first season will be to know the league and the team, but I don't doubt that he will score goals for Southampton. In Spain, we believe he will be one of the best strikers for the Spanish squad in the future together with Morata and Alcacer.

St. Mary's Musings would like to thank Alberto for taking the time to give us the lowdown.