Southampton have offered to make Pablo Osvaldo the highest paid player in their history in a bid to entice him from Roma, Goal understands.
The Premier League club have been pursuing the Italy international all summer as they attempt to bolster their attacking options.
Goal understands that Southampton have offered Osvaldo a club-record £60,000-a-week deal in a bid to beat off competition for the player’s signature from Benfica, Wolfsburg and Tottenham.
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The deal also depends upon Spurs’ twin pursuit of Osvaldo’s Roma team-mates Erik Lamela and Miralem Pjanic, with the Italian club unwilling to sanction the sales of all three players.
Goal revealed earlier this week that Tottenham had opened talks with Roma to sign £30m-rated Lamela, with the Giallorossi’s sporting director Walter Sabatini meeting his opposite number Franco Baldini in London on Thursday.
Osvaldo is currently weighing up his options as he awaits the outcome of negotiations between his current employers and the two Premier League clubs.
Southampton have indicated to Roma they are willing to pay a club-record fee of £17m including add-ons for the Argentina-born forward, who was signed from Espanyol in 2011 in a deal worth up to £14.75m.
The Serie A club are willing to off-load the 27-year-old this summer in an attempt to provide funds for new manager Rudi Garcia to re-shape his squad.
Tottenham met with Osvaldo’s representatives earlier this year but it is understood that Baldini, the former Roma general manager, who took up a new role as Spurs’ technical director in June, has doubts about the controversial forward's attitude.
He was left out of Italy's Confederations Cup squad by coach Cesare Prandelli after becoming involved in a public row with former Roma boss Aurelio Andreazzoli, but has since been recalled to the international fold.
Osvaldo’s salary expectations are not an insurmountable problem for Premier League clubs flush with money from the new broadcasting deal.
The striker currently earns £61,000-a-week at Roma, a sum that will rise to £72,500-a-week in the final year of his contract, which runs until 2016.