Saturday July 12 2014
Italian Pelle set for Saints

Italian striker Graziano Pellè has reportedly signed for Southampton after netting regularly for Feyenoord.

Pellè barely made an impact in Serie A, but scored 55 goals in 65 games for the Eredivisie club over two seasons.

He’ll reunite with ex-Feyenoord Coach Ronald Koeman, who has just taken over at the Saints, in a €10m (£8m) deal.

The forward will turn 29 next week and has had an unusual career path, from being compared to Luca Toni in his early days to getting a ‘bad boy’ reputation in Holland.

Pellè grew up in the Lecce yough academy and had loan spells at Catania, Crotone and Cesena before the move to Louis Van Gaal’s AZ Alkmaar in 2007.

Pellè returned to Serie A for Parma in 2011, but lasted only six months before he was loaned to Sampdoria, failing to muster more than a handful of appearances.

In 2012, Parma sold him to another Dutch club, Feyenoord, for €3m and he scored an extraordinary 50 goals in 57 games.

Despite this remarkable scoring record, Pellè has never played for Italy at senior level.

He took part in the Under-20 World Cup and the European Under-21 Championships, but has been completely ignored by the Azzurri establishment.

There had been calls for Pellè to be given Dutch citizenship so he could play international football for the Netherlands.

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