Southampton look set to confirm the signing of Graziano Pelle over the next few days, with manager Ronald Koeman identifying his former striker as a perfect replacement for Rickie Lambert.
During his first news conference as Southampton manager, Koeman, who left Dutch side Feyenoord at the end of last season, confirmed that recent media speculation was correct and a deal for Pelle was just around the corner.
"It’s close but still not signed. We hope maybe this weekend to have him as the second new player of Southampton." Koeman confirmed.
Koeman's second signing
The signing will be the second since the Dutchman arrived at the club last month, after the acquisition of Dusan Tadic from FC Twente.
After the departure of Lambert, who joined Liverpool earlier this summer, Southampton lacked a recognised number nine figure, and Pelle is set to fill that gap.
His record of 55 goals in 66 goals for Feyenoord singles him out as an outstanding candidate to replace Lambert, although Southampton fans will be hoping that he can replicate that form in a harder league and become something of a Luis Suarez than an Alfonso Alves in the English league.
The fee is rumoured to be in the region of £8million and although Pelle is 28, he would represent a good deal for the Saints. It also proves that manager Koeman is not wasting any time in reinforcing his squad this summer.
More deals on the horizon
The 51-year-old also confirmed more would be on the way during the news conference, giving Saints fans hope that they might still be able to challenge for a Europa League spot this coming season.
"I don’t like to talk about individual players but we need some to bring competition between the players." he said.
Signing Pelle might only be the start, but if he can produce the same level of performance of the man he is replacing, Southampton could well push on and beat their highest ever finish of 8th in the Premier League next season.
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