Date: 4th January 2019 at 4:02pm
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EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Southampton striker Manolo Gabbiadini is in talks with Sampdoria over a loan-to-buy move back to Italy, Football Insider understands.

The Serie A big hitters are set to take Gabbiadini initially on loan until the end of the season with an obligation to buy for £9million.

A well-placed source has told Football Insider that the Italy international has been informed he can leave Southampton during this month’s transfer window as he does not figure in new boss Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans going forward at St Mary’s Stadium.

Gabbiadini has made only one appearance under Hasenhuttl – as a late substitute in the defeat to Cardiff in his first game in charge – and he has not been included in the squad for the last five games.

Gabbiadini joined Southampton from Napoli in January 2017 and made an immediate impact at St Mary’s with six goals in his first four games.

However, he has struggled to replicate that form scoring just six goals in all competitions since that flying start.

The 27-year-old is keen to move back to Italy to kick-start his career and Sampdoria are ready to offer him a return to Serie A.

Gabbiadini enjoyed a 18-month spell at Sampdoria before joining Napoli in 2015, scoring 19 goals in 50 games for blucerchiati.

In other south coast transfer news, a massive striker signing is in the offing.