In Focus: Southampton must keep Gabbiadini at least until the end of the season

According to Italian media outlet Gianluca Di Marzio, out of favour Southampton striker Manolo Gabbiadini, who is rated at €15m (approximately £13.3m) according to Transfermarkt, is a target for Serie A side Bologna this month, with the player’s agent already holding talks with the Italian club.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Gianluca Di Marzio says that with Bologna striker Simone Verdi being targeted by Serie A leaders Napoli, they are looking for a potential replacement for the 25-year-old and are eyeing a move for Gabbiadini before the transfer window slams shut on January 31.

Gianluca Di Marzio suggests that Bologna will only firm up their interest in the Saints striker if Verdi does leave, while it also appears unclear whether the south coast outfit are willing to sell the Italy international this month, or are prepared to wait until the summer.

How has Gabbiadini done this season?

Following the huge impact he made following his move to St Mary’s a year ago, Southampton would have believed they had the regular goalscorer they were looking for.

However, the 26-year-old has struggled for form this term and looks uncomfortable when he is asked to play as a lone striker, and he has only started one of their last 12 Premier League matches.

The Italian has scored three goals in 20 top flight games, with two of those coming in the 2-2 draw at home against Newcastle United in October.

Should they sell him this month?

It depends on their January business, but it certainly wouldn’t be a popular decision among the fans give that they are currently 17th.

If they bring in another striker then it could push Gabbiadini – who is currently behind Shane Long in the pecking order – even further out of favour under Mauricio Pellegrino, but the Argentine will also need to consider the absence of Charlie Austin through injury.

Gabbiadini has shown that the can score goals when he is confident and has good service, and that could be crucial for Saints in the run-in considering they may well find themselves in a relegation battle.

They can get the best out of the 26-year-old, who will be looking to impress prior to the World Cup this summer, if they play him with someone else up front, or perhaps even if he plays in the role behind the striker in Pellegrino’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system.