Kevin Wimmer is hoping to remain in the Premier League as he mulls an exit from Tottenham Hotspur. The Austrian defender remains firmly behind Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in Mauricio Pochettino's central defensive pecking order and could opt to depart this summer in search of more regular first-team football having been limited to just 10 first-team appearances in 2016-17.
The Mirror reported last month that Southampton, now under the tutelage of Mauricio Pellegrino, were interested in signing Wimmer as a potential long-term successor to former captain Jose Fonte, who joined West Ham United in January.
However, it was claimed that Spurs would need to reduce their £20m ($25.7m) valuation of a player who is apparently seen as a potential new partner rather than replacement for in-demand Dutchman Virgil van Dijk.
West Bromwich Albion were also rumoured to have expressed an interest in Wimmer back in April, with Tony Pulis eager to bolster his defensive options in the West Midlands.
The 24-year-old only signed a new five-year deal with Tottenham in July 2016 after impressing during Vertonghen's absence, although he is now eager to entertain offers from other clubs having become frustrated with a lack of opportunities.
"24 years of age is where it is most important to play regularly and not only have to train week after week and sit on the bench," he told Sky Sport Austria. "In the next few days and weeks, the main focus will certainly be placed on what is there for offers. We will definitely look around, it's time to look for something, where the chances of regular use are again higher."
Former LASK Linz starlet Wimmer arrived at Tottenham for an undisclosed fee in 2015 after making 72 appearances during a productive three-year stint with FC Cologne. While a Premier League stay obviously remains his preferred option, a potential return to the RheinEnergieStadion might also hold some appeal.
"For me, it would be the most beautiful if I could stay in the Premier League," he added. "But the league is very good for me, also from Germany, I have to look closely at how Tottenham's side looks at what they are doing and how it actually looks with the release sum. In Cologne, I have experienced three super years.
"I believe that Cologne is always a very nice step for me, you have to look at what happens, but I would prefer it if I could remain in the Premier League."
Speaking last month, Wimmer's representative, Jurgen Werner, claimed his client was attracting interest from clubs in Italy and Germany but that Tottenham's inflated price tag made things "difficult". He also insisted that Spurs still see the player as a "talent" and that, if he stays, he will be a regular under Pochettino in two years' time.