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Southampton are interested in Patrick Bamford, according to reports

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There has been much talk lately concerning the future of Patrick Bamford, who was recently recognized as the best player in the Championship this season. It's clear that his future is in the Premier League, though there is still some debate as to whether he'll be with the Chelsea first team next season, or if another loan is in his future.

Should the Blues opt for a loan, ESPN suggests that one of the league's better sides would be interested. Peter O'Rourke is reporting that Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is a fan of Bamford's play, and that he has interest in bringing the 21-year old to St. Mary's next season.

The Saints would be an interesting option if Chelsea opt for a loan, as an Arsenal FA Cup final win would mean that they would be playing Europa League football next season*. They'd certainly need reinforcements up front, and they'd be looking on a budget.

*There is still a good chance they qualify anyway, as a top 6 finish would earn them European football regardless of the Arsenal/Aston Villa result

For Bamford, the Saints could be an interesting option, as they play a similar style to Chelsea in many matches. They do so with far less talent up front, however, and while the 21-year old wouldn't walk right in to the Saints starting eleven, his competition woldn't be anywhere near the quality of guys like Loic Remy and Diego Costa.

I think most of us are hoping that Bamford gets a serious look this summer, and winds up backing up Costa and Remy at Chelsea next season, but if the club and player decide that a loan is the best option, I could think of worse destinations than Southampton.