Report: Southampton to reject bids for Graziano Pelle, summer departure increasingly likely

Southampton forward Graziano Pelle looks as if he will remain at St Mary's until at the least the summer.

Southampton will turn down any bids they receive to lure their forward Graziano Pelle away from St Mary's, according to a report in the Southern Daily Echo.

The paper cites reports in Italy that are suggesting that Pelle could be subject to a few bids but insists the Saints are expected to stand firm.

It appears 'increasingly likely' that he will move in the summer when he will be 31 - when it will probably make more sense to cash in on the Italian rather than give him an extended deal.

Pelle has been a good signing for the Saints. After joining in the summer of 2014, he scored a total of 16 goals in all competitions in his debut season, and has found the net on nine occasions during this campaign so far.

The Saints have added to their ranks in the transfer market during this window by signing forward Charlie Austin from Queens Park Rangers - and he's already managed to get off the mark with the winning goal against Manchester United last weekend. 

If Pelle were to end up leaving in the summer then the blow has probably already been softened with an established goalscorer in the Premier League added to their ranks. 

It seems that manager Ronald Koeman is keen to keep his squad together until at least the summer so he doesn't have to alter his plans for the rest of the campaign. Right now, Koeman has three decent strikers at his disposal in Pelle, Austin and Shane Long - so when they're all available it gives him plenty of options as he hopes his side can have a strong second half to the season. 

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