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Reported Southampton target Gianluca Scamacca will soon be the new number nine for the Italian national team, Ascoli president Massimo Pulcinelli has said in quotes translated by Pianeta Serie B.

While an unprecedented financial crisis might have left summer plans in ruins for many a Premier League outfit, a shifting situation is unlikely to change much at St Mary’s.

Southampton are not targeting any Champions League heroes or £30 million strikers after all, with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side instead snuffling through the undergrowth in search of diamonds in the rough.

Your BEST Former Player Who Wouldn’t Start For Your Current XI

Your BEST Former Player Who Wouldn’t Start For Your Current XI

Scamacca, a Rome-born 21-year-old from the second tier of Italian football, feels like a signing from the Ronald Koeman or Mauricio Pochettino era, when Southampton were famed for their ability to sniff out bargain signings from all over Europe.

The 6ft 5ins targetman has produced 11 goals for Ascoli this season while earning comparisons with a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Perhaps ‘the new Graziano Pelle’ would be a better nickname, with Ascoli’s president suggesting that it is only a matter of time before the Italy U21 international is leading the line for Roberto Mancini at senior level.

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“Scamacca? Gianluca is an excellent professional and soon he will be the centre-forward of the Italian national team,” Pulcinelli told Taca la Marca. 

“He is still very young and has a lot of room for improvement. Already in January we had a call from (parent club) Sassuolo, who informed us of the interest of a Spanish and an Italian club.”

Il Mianista reported recently that Southampton had opened talks over a summer deal that would see Scamacca move to St Mary’s, potentially providing some much-needed competition for the talismanic presence that is Danny Ings.

Grazanio Pelle became Italy’s number nine after shining on the South Coast – could Scamacca follow in his footsteps?

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