Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has clearly demonstrated recently that he is something of an optimist. Toward the end of last season the Argentine boss even suggested that The Saints could start to dream about Champions League football under his stewardship.
That level of optimism is shared by the clubs chairman Nicola Cortese; who last summer demonstrated that with the signing of Gaston Ramirez from under the noses of Inter Milan and Liverpool.
This summer he again is being linked with several big moves; the likes of Victor Wanyama and Ever Banega for instance; He has also already tied up a deal for Croatian international defender Dejan Lovren from Olympique Lyonnais.
And it appears he has been looking at one of his old favourites to truly take the club to the next level.
Italian international Pablo Osvaldo played under Pochettino during a successful season in La Liga with Espanyol.
It was here that the Argentine born striker finally started to score goals on a more regular basis; and since arriving in the Italian capital he has been in great goal-scoring form.
And considering his current relationship with AS Roma you can see why The Saints felt there was a possibility in snapping him up.
The 27-year-old has a fractious relationship with his current club. Something of a reputation as a ‘bad-boy’ has been accumulated in his brief period at the Stadio Olimpico.
Clashes with the fans and some team-mates all came to a head when he publicly criticised his manager at Roma last term Aurelio Andreazzoli; labelling him ‘incompetent’ and ‘clueless’ after he was left out of the starting XI for the Coppa Italia final defeat to bitter rivals Lazio.
It was a bitter tirade that saw him cut from the Confederations Cup squad for Italy.
So the €20 million offer allegedly presented by The Saints made sense; and would have been a superb acquisition.
However it looks as though he won’t be going anywhere. Reports in Italy claim that he would rather stay in Serie A or return to La Liga rather than join the Premier League.
And Saints fans may feel they have had a lucky escape. Despite Pochettino having a good working relationship with the front-man he is clearly trouble and perhaps not what they need to keep the delicate balance at the club in tact ahead of next season.
Are you glad Osvaldo won’t be a Southampton player next season?
image: © Damien Cansse