Dani Osvaldo Suspended by Southampton Following 'Training Ground Incident'

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Daniel Osvaldo of Southampton runs with the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on November 23, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Southampton have announced Dani Osvaldo will serve a two-week ban in relation to an incident that unfolded at the club's Staplewood training ground this week.

The Saints' official club website released the following statement:

Southampton Football Club has today suspended striker Dani Osvaldo for two weeks, following an incident at the Club’s Staplewood training ground.

The Club has taken swift and proper action for what it considers a breach of the conduct expected of its players.

Southampton will be making no further comment on this matter.

Felice Calabro'/Associated Press

According to ESPN.co.uk, Osvaldo was suspended due to head-butting centre-back Jose Fonte during training:

Dani Osvaldo appears to have kicked his last ball for Southampton after a bloody training ground bust-up with team-mate Jose Fonte at the club's training base on Thursday.

Southampton moved quickly to hand Osvaldo a public dressing down and a two-week ban following the incident, that left his team-mates shocked by the level of violence they had witnessed and Fonte with facial injuries.

It caps off a fairly miserable January for the Italian international, who was handed a three-game ban at the beginning of the year after being charged with violent conduct for a touchline fracas, per BBC Sport.

Osvaldo hasn't featured in a Premier League match for almost six weeks now, and it will be more than two months since his last appearance by the time he returns to Mauricio Pochettino's lineup.

However, there's a good chance that return may never come.

Italian giants Inter are said to be eyeing a loan deal for the former Roma star, according to Mirror Football's Alex Crook.

Osvaldo arrived at St Mary's for a club-record fee of £14 million over the summer, but he has managed just three goals in 13 appearances for the Premier League outfit, per Transfermarkt.

This latest twist on the 28-year-old's time at the South Coast club only promises to negatively impact his image further, having built up a reputation for volatile behaviour during his time in Serie A.

Goal.com's Wayne Veysey backs up such claims:

The Guardian quotes Pochettino saying last year that the forward is deserving of this reputation, remarking of his countryman: "He has a reputation and he deserves it. He is a player of character, with a lot of passion, a lot of heart and who is very emotional."

On his day, Osvaldo can be a superbly talented asset up front, but the likes of Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez have held a fine account of themselves in recent months, each earning their first call-ups for the England national team.  

Should he see out the rest of January as a Southampton player, Osvaldo will again look to breach the starting XI, although off-the-field antics certainly aren't helping his case.