Southampton to replace essential star with Juventus outcast

Southampton are looking to upgrade their options in the final third this summer and will replace Graziano Pelle with compatriot Simone Zaza, according to The Mirror.

The Saints had an excellent season and finish sixth in the Premier League, with Ronald Koeman calling on the south coast club to be adventurous in the transfer market this summer in a bid to progress next term.

Pelle is entering the final year of his deal at the St Mary’s Stadium and is being tipped with a return to his homeland, with the likes of Juventus and Lazio potentially interested in the burly number nine.

Zaza is an international team-mate of the Saints star but has found first-team opportunities in Turin hard to come by over the last 12 months, starting only five Serie A games in 2015-16.

The 24-year-old could well be allowed to leave by Juve this summer given that he played only a fringe role in the club securing a fifth consecutive league title in 2015-16.