Dani Osvaldo has one last chance to convince Juventus to sign him on a permanent basis this summer and avoid Saints another headache.
The Italian striker has already bagged a Serie A winner’s medal during his loan spell at Juve, who round off their season against Cagliari tomorrow afternoon hoping to break the 100 points barrier for the season.
Osvaldo has endured a mixed season, having been bought by Saints for a club record fee of around €15m, had a stuttering start to his St Mary’s career before a training ground bust up with Jose Fonte saw him farmed out on loan.
His time at Juve has also been eventful. He has made 17 appearances and scored three goals, form which has seen him left out of the Italy squad for the World Cup, but broken the Serie A point record and picked up a medal in the process.
Juventus have a pre-agreed option they can exercise before the end of this month to buy the striker permanently from Saints for around £15.5m, but reports in Italy suggest they will not take that up.
If that is the case then Osvaldo will be back with Saints, who will try to find a buyer for their bad boy star.
However, they will surely be aware that his value is likely to have dropped from the price they paid for him.
There was a hope at the club that Osvaldo might star at the World Cup which would attract interest and mean they might recoup their layout for him.
That won’t now be the case.
Thankfully he is still well regarded enough in Europe that there is likely to be a taker out there for him, with a return to the St Mary’s dressing room remaining highly unlikely, but Saints will do well to get close to what they paid to sign him.
It is another problem the club could do without at the moment with the futures of key players and manager Mauricio Pochettino still up in the air.
For his part Osvaldo, who scored against former club Roma last weekend, feels he has matured during his spell away.
“The goal was great, particularly because it has not been an easy year for me," he said.
"It was beautiful, especially for the celebration of my team-mates, who have all come together to embrace me, the coach included, and the staff.
"I have so much respect for everyone, this is a fantastic group, sincerely. I am honoured to be a part of this group because it has helped me to grow both as a professional and as a person, whilst this is an experience that I will never forget in my life."
He added: "This Juve are now part of history. This is what we were aiming for [the points record], the most important thing.
"I believe that getting into history at a club like Juventus is not an everyday thing, perhaps it will never happen again, to anyone, or for many years.
"So we have to enjoy this moment because we have done something spectacular."