Southampton are closing in on a deal to sign highly-rated Manchester City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.

The Saints are leading the chase for the 20-year-old Republic of Ireland international, who has been watched by a number of Premier League clubs.

GOAL understands the south coast club are close to agreeing terms for the keeper, who was Player of the Year at League One neighbours Portsmouth last season.

Bazunu has impressed on loan spells and international duty and Southampton are expected to have to pay upwards of £12 million ($14m) for a player that already has 10 Ireland caps as well as 84 senior appearances for Shamrock Rovers, Rochdale and Portsmouth.

Experienced goalkeeper Fraser Forster will join Tottenham in July on a free transfer after his contract with the Saints expired.

Former Man City keeper Willy Caballero is also out of contract with uncertainty over his future, leaving Alex McCarthy as the only senior keeper at the club.

City paid around £400,000 ($500,000) for the Dublin-born keeper when he was just a 16-year-old and could include a buyback option in any deal.

He earned his first international call as a teenager in a qualifier in March 2021 and gained further prominence when he saved a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo in a World Cup qualifier against Portugal last September.

“Let me tell you now, he is world class. He will be a world-class goalkeeper,” Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley said of Bazunu last season.

Popular third-choice goalkeeper Scott Carson has agreed a new 12-month contract to remain at Etihad Stadium.

The 36-year-old is close friends with Ederson and Zack Steffen and said: “I have already gained so much from my time here and hopefully I can keep helping to push the club’s other goalkeepers to be the best they can be.”

Meanwhile, England under-21 goalkeeper James Trafford has returned to League One side Bolton Wanderers on a season-long loan.

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