Inter Milan and Galatasary are fighting it out for Saints bad boy Dani Osvaldo.
The Italian striker is a summer transfer target for the European giants as it looks increasingly unlikely he will be welcomed back at St Mary’s.
Turkish side Galatasary are keen to add his firepower to their forward line for the new season and are believed to want to sign him on a permanent basis. Inter have emerged as another potential suitor for Osvaldo, but may favour a loan deal for the 28-year-old.
Saints would surely prefer to sell him if they can to put an end a forgettable year with their club record signing, and recoup some of the £12.9m they paid for him last summer, allowing Ronald Koeman greater funds for acquisitions.
- Tadic: United's big game experience made the difference
- THE VERDICT: So brave but a big chance missed for Saints
- PHOTOS: Do you agree with our Saints cup final player ratings?
- Puel wants video technology after final controversy
- Former Saints manager Koeman angers fans with post-final comment
- Romeu: Our fans inspired our EFL Cup final comeback
- All the pictures as Saints are cruelly denied by Manchester United
- Manchester United 3-2 Southampton: Puel rues "cruel" defeat
However, if a loan is the only option then it at least would put off the problem of his return for a little longer.
Osvaldo has not reported for pre-season training with the rest of his Saints teammates and new manager Koeman after producing a doctor’s note to justify him staying away.
He is not too likely to be welcomed back any time soon anyway after his training ground headbutt on Jose Fonte saw him loaned out to Juventus for the second half of last season. Osvaldo secured a Serie A title with Juve but they declined to exercise their option to sign him permanently.
Osvaldo’s no-show for pre-season has hardly been treated as a huge blow to the club at St Mary’s.
With relations between him and the rest of the dressing room having become understandably strained to say the least following the reasons for his departure, and with interest in him from other clubs, the illness that is keeping Osvaldo away gives Saints extra breathing space to try and negotiate a move away for him.