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The Saints have made the Italian striker their top attacking target this summer but are not willing to match the Eredivisie club's asking price and have lined up other options

By William Joyce

Southampton have told Feyenoord they will not meet their £8 million asking price for Graziano Pelle, Goal understands.

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The Saints' new boss Ronald Koeman has targeted the Italian as his main striking target this summer following the signing of Dusan Tadic, and a bid of around £6m was lodged earlier this month.

However, Feyenoord are demanding their full valuation plus a 25 per cent sell-on fee for the 28-year-old, and despite being flush with cash from the big-money sales of Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert, Southampton have baulked at the proposal.

As talks continue between the two clubs, Goal has learnt that the Saints have told Feyenoord that they will not meet their asking price and they have other targets - including Sunderland's Connor Wickham.

Koeman, however, is hopeful that a deal can be thrashed out soon, though his body language at Southampton's press conference betrayed his message.

"It's close but it's still not signed... we hope maybe this weekend to have him as the second new player at Southampton," he said.

Pelle finished second in the Eredivisie scoring charts last season with 23 goals in 28 appearances, a year after racking up 27 goals in 29 outings, bettered only by then Vitesse striker Wilfried Bony.

Should the two clubs fail to agree a deal for the journeyman Italian striker, who has played for eight clubs in Italy and the Netherlands, Southampton have also told the Dutch club they would not return for Lex Immers.

The midfielder scored 12 Eredivisie goals in 2013-14 as Feyenoord finished second behind Ajax, and only signed a new contract until 2017 in May.

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