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Southampton reportedly make approach for leading Manchester City academy recruiter

Saints are apparently set to bring in Joe Shields to head up their recruitment

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Manchester City, Southampton, Joe Shields, Premier League. Saints news Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

Southampton have reportedly approached Joe Shields, an instrumental figure behind Manchester City’s success at academy level, to take charge of their first-team recruitment.

According to the Telegraph, Shields has been a key man for City’s youth recruitment after joining as their chief scout for southern England in 2013 - bringing in the likes of Jadon Sancho and Michael Olise.

If he joins Southampton, he will become their new head of senior recruitment.

Saints are currently undergoing a major overhaul of backroom staff, which saw a number of first-team coaches leave the club at the end of May. As stated in the Telegraph report, Shields is the first major recruitment figure Southampton have approached since Sport Republic completed their takeover earlier this year.

The move for Shields comes as Southampton’s previous head of scouting and recruitment Martyn Glover accepted a position at Leicester City.

Earlier today, it was confirmed that Saints completed the transfer of City’s Gavin Bazunu, a player that Shields initially recruited for the Citizens as an unknown 16 year old.

Other young names signed by Shields at City include highly touted prospects such as Liam Delap, Finley Burns, Luke Mbete and Ben Knight. Shields was also behind the signings of Jayden Braaf and Jamie Brynoe-Gittens, now both plying their trade at Borussia Dortmund.

According to respected football journalist Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are also interested in acquiring Shields.

However, it appears he wants to join this promising Southampton project ahead of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League winners.