Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo has rejected the chance to sign for ambitious Southampton, according to reports in Italy.

Osvaldo, 27, is no stranger to Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino, having played under his Argentine compatriot during their time together at Espanyol.

And Pochettino has asked Southampton's executive chairman, Nicola Cortese, to launch a club record bid of around £17 million in an attempt to be reunited with the controversial striker, though a move to a more established Premier League side appears to be Osvaldo's preference.

In recent weeks, Chelsea and Tottenham have been linked with the powerful frontman, while Spanish outfit Atletico Madrid are reportedly keen too.

Despite scoring 17 goals in 31 appearances last season, Roma - who spent £15 million on Osvaldo two years ago - are willing to listen to offers for their leading striker.

His stay in the Italian capital has been shrouded in controversy, most notably when he clashed with teammate Erik Lamela in the dressing room after complaining that Lamela had not passed him the ball.

His bad-boy image is enhanced further by six dismissals in three seasons, but his reputation has not put Southampton off making their move.

Should the Saints convince Osvaldo that his future lies on the south coast of England, then it would represent something of a coup for Pochettino's side and would eclipse the £12 million paid to Bologna to secure the services of Gaston Ramirez last summer.


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