Southampton linked with move for Atletico Madrid forward Alessio Cerci

Southampton are reportedly interested in Atletico Madrid reserve Alessio Cerci.

With eight wins from the first 11 games of the season, Southampton have made an exceptional start to the season, and have hopes of getting European football for next season.

In order to qualify for either the Europa League or even the Champions League, manager Ronald Koeman needs to add more talent in the January transfer window - and could be ready to battle with two of the Premier League's top clubs for a new forward.

Atletico Madrid striker Alessio Cerci was a target for Southampton in the summer after 13 goals and ten assists with Torino last season, but the La Liga champions snapped him up for €16m in August.

However, Cerci has yet to even start a game for Atletico this season, and has only played 119 minutes as he struggles for first team football under Diego Simeone - and yesterday, the Italian World Cup forward admitted that he wants to leave the Spanish capital.

"We'll see what happens with Atletico from now until January, I didn't go to Madrid to not play," said Cerci. "I was always relied upon in Italy, I don't have the patience to sit and stay on the bench."

The 27-year-old is likely to attract interest from a number of clubs, including Inter Milan, whilst Arsenal and Manchester United have also been touted as a possible destination - but Southampton are willing to fight with them for Cerci, according to Italian press.

Adept at playing out wide, behind the striker or up front, Cerci would be a huge addition to an already promising Southampton side, and could form a devastating partnership with his compatriot Graziano Pelle.

It may take a bid of close to the £12.75m that Atletico have paid, but the ambitious nature of their pursuit just goes to show the huge progress Southampton are making on and off the pitch.

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