Five facts on reported Southampton target Paulo Dybala

Southampton Football Club

Southampton are reported to be preparing a January bid for Palermo's Paulo Dybala, but what should fans know about the Argentine striker?

While main man Graziano Pelle is currently firing on all cylinders for Southampton, manager Ronald Koeman remains keen to add depth up top come the winter transfer window.

With the latest reports suggesting Palermo’s Paulo Dybala is at the top of the Dutchman’s wish list, here are five facts fans should know about the 20-year-old Argentine hitman.

1) Dybala came up through the ranks at Instituto, making his professional debut in the Argentine second-tier in 2011 at the age of 17, before going on to score 17 goals in 40 total games in his first full season.

2) He would establish various benchmarks over that period, pipping World Cup legend Mario Kempes to become the youngest scorer for the club and the youngest to play 38 consecutive games for any team. He was also the first Instituto player to score two hat-tricks in a single season and to net in six consecutive games, beating the previous record of four.

3) His form saw him linked to a host of major European clubs in the summer of 2012, with the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, Inter Milan and AC Milan all reported to be courting his signature, before a July move to Palermo which was in fact arranged several months in advance.

4) Hailed as “the new Sergio Aguero” by club president Maurizio Zamparini upon his arrival, Dybala’s first season with the Sicily-based outfit saw him score just three times in 27 league games as the club was relegated to Serie B.

He would improve his record to 5 goals in 28 appearances the following campaign, however, as the Rosanero made an immediate return to the top-flight, before starting off this term with 2 in 9 as an ever-present in the line-up.

5) While he is yet to showcase his best in Europe, the diminutive striker’s undoubted promise is said to have attracted recent attention from Wolfsburg, Benfica and Southampton, who have been made aware of the fact that he has been stalling on an extension to his current contract, set to expire in 2016.

Boasting both Polish and Italian origins, the Saints are reported to be keen to make a move for the under-20 international as soon as January in order to beat the rush to his signature, but it remains to be seen what kind of fee Palermo would command.

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