Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay has confirmed the club have spoken with Southampton about luring the out-of-favour Juanmi back to La Liga in the summer transfer window. The Basque side already tried to secure the forward's services in the January mercato, with the club chief now suggestions negotiations between the teams are at an advanced stage.
Southampton signed the 22-year-old forward last summer, meeting his €7m (£5.5m) release clause at Malaga. The player was seen as a major prospect, netting eight goals in La Liga and earning himself a first call-up to Vicente del Bosque's national team for the friendly against Netherlands after Chelsea's Diego Costa pulled out injured.
However, the Spaniard has failed to replicate that success in England, with manager Ronald Koeman not giving the player a single starting appearance during the entire Premier League campaign.
Juanmi revealed during the January transfer window that he wanted to leave Southampton for Real Sociedad, with his position at the club even more threatened following the arrival of Charlie Austin from QPR. However, the clubs did not come to an agreement, with the forward stuck at the club until the end of the season.
However, Sociedad are now ready to renew their efforts, making the player the first signing of the summer window.
Asked in a press conference how close Real Sociedad were to gaining the player, Aperribay responded: "We'll see. Even though it looks that there are a few conversations remaining [with Southampton to secure his services], they are transcendental."
"They are the negotiations that take you to close the deal or not. The talks are still open, we have always said that we have open negotiations with the Southampton and Juanmi but we will see if these negotiations can go ahead."