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Southampton still waiting on decision from Alessandro Del Piero
SAINTS are hoping to hear today whether they have been successful in their ambitious swoop for the legendary Alessandro Del Piero.
The 37-year-old Italian World Cup winner has offers from a variety of different clubs around the world after leaving Juventus following nine glittering years in which he won almost everything the game has to offer.
Australian side Sydney FC, who initially announced they had signed him before back tracking, made a desperate trip to Italy last night to try and convince Del Piero to join them.But the Italian media insist that Saints and Swiss side Sion remain real contenders to land the superstar.
Saints have to lodge their 25- man squad list with the Premier League this evening following the close of the transfer window, but Del Piero could still be added as he is an out of contract player.
As it stands, Saints will be submitting a list of 22 senior players and nine under-21s, who do not count towards their total, to the Premier League .
The list cannot be revised until the January transfer window opens but if a squad is short of the 25 total then free agents can be added, meaning a move for Del Piero is still alive.
Del Piero has always said he would like to play in England and is aiming to continue his career until he is 40.
Saints are said to have offered a two-year deal, worth about 1m euros a year, about £800,000, plus substantial bonuses.
The club could see the signing as an investment off the field as well as on it with shirt sales sure to rocket and with the global recognition they would receive for arguably the highest profile capture in the club’s history.
Sion are thought to have offered about the same as Saints while Sydney FC are believed to have offered more.
Only Saints, though, can offer the Premier League football which Del Piero has always craved.
Liverpool are reportedly monitoring the situation after letting Andy Carroll go to West Ham and failing to land a replacement on transfer deadline day.
Greek side Olympiakos are also keen, and can offer Champions League football.
Saints appear to have struck early, though.
And Del Piero, who has proved loyalty and happiness is more important to him than anything else by sticking with Juventus after their Serie A demotion a few years ago, could yet make St Mary’s the final destination in his incredible career.