Southampton are poised to make a renewed bid for their long-term defensive target, Cagliari’s Davide Astori, according to reports in Italy.
Tuttosport reports that Saints are determined to land the Italy international and will not be deterred by the Sardinian club’s £12.5m valuation of Astori.
The South Coast club have previously spent heavily in the Italian market on the likes of Gaston Ramirez and Pablo Osvaldo, and Mauricio Pochettino is ready to turn to Serie A again in a bid to freshen up a squad who have faltered in recent months.
Although first-choice centre-back pairing Dejan Lovren and Jose Fonte have been solid, Pochettino wants to bring in Astori to provide competition and cover for the duo, with current deputies Jos Hooiveld and Maya Yoshida less than convincing in their appearances this season.
The left-sided Astori has been an outstanding performer for mid-table Cagliari, and he featured for Italy at the Confederations Cup earlier this year. He is expected to contend for a reserve spot in Cesare Prandelli’s World Cup squad this summer.
Despite these impressive credentials, Astori can be inconsistent – he conceded more penalties than any other player in Serie A last season. But Pochettino – himself a centre-back in his playing days – is a long-term admirer of the 26-year-old, and he looks set to make Astori the latest big-name capture of his managerial reign.
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