Report: Crystal Palace and Southampton in striker carousel involving Babacar and Pelle

Southampton could be affected by Crystal Palace’s attempts to sign Khouma Babacar.

According to a report by Gianluca di Marzio, Fiorentina will plot a deal for Southampton’s Graziano Pelle if they sell striker Khouma Babacar to Crystal Palace this month.

Palace boss Alan Pardew is seeking to bolster his side’s attacking ranks this summer and has identified 22-year-old Babacar as the ideal man to lead his forward line.

The Fiorentina ace has shown real promise this season, scoring four goals in five Serie A starts.

As per Italian transfer expert Di Marzio, The Eagles have already seen an offer worth €11 million [roughly £8m] rejected but that hasn’t stopped the Serie A outfit from making a contingency plan.

“Earlier today Crystal Palace made an offer worth 11 million to Fiorentina for striker Kouma Babacar but the Tuscan club rejected the proposal. Should the deal develop later on, Fiorentina has already a replacement in mind with Southampton's Graziano Pelle,” the report reads.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle is very much a first-team star at St. Mary’s Stadium, starting 15 Premier League matches this season and netting six times.

The 30-year-old acts as a pivot upfront for the Saints and allows the club’s fellow attacking players such as Shane Long, Dusan Tadic and Sadio Mane to wreak havoc in the final third.

Considering Fiorentina’s progress in the Italian top-flight, a return to his native Italy with the Tuscan side could be a real temptation for the striker though a big blow to the Saints.

Boss Ronald Koeman has had to contend with a number of players leaving the South Coast side and should Palace get their top January target, he could face the prospect of losing yet another one.

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