Southampton FC sign partnership with Ghana giants Asante Kotoko

Asante Kotoko is one of Ghana's oldest and most successful clubs. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images

Ghanaian Premier League side Asante Kotoko want to take as much benefit out of a newly signed co-operation deal with Southampton, but reckon the Premier League club will also reap substantive rewards from the link-up.

The two clubs agreed a partnership this week, as Southampton added an African club to a list of teams in the North America, the Middle East, Australia and Japan who are part of their International Football Partnership programme.

Kotoko, formed in 1935 and twice African champions, are one of Ghana oldest and iconic clubs, with formal links to the Asante kingdom.

Kotoko's chief executive officer Nana Yaw Amponsah told Reuters: "We want to be able to replicate whatever Southampton do in their business, although we appreciate we do not have the same size budget that they do.

"We want to ensure Kotoko is as professionally run as Southampton, especially our academy set up.

"Kotoko's youth has, for some time now, not been functioning properly and if you look at Southampton, they have one of the best youth policies in world football, producing the likes of Gareth Bale. We want to create that kind of conveyor belt system.

"At the same time, we are looking growing our club commercially. There are global brands sponsoring English clubs that also want to come to Africa."

He then added: "But Southampton will benefit from the link up too.

"We have a fan base of over 12 million people and Ghana will automatically now become a hub for them to grow their fan base here as well. We have the masses, they have a global appeal; either way we benefit from each other."

Southampton already have a Ghanaian player on their books -- the 21-year-old centre back Mohammed Salisu, signed from Real Valladolid in August last year. He has yet to debut for the Saints.