Feyenoord's Graziano Pelle Skips Charity Gala Amid Southampton Transfer Talk

Liam NewmanContributor IJuly 4, 2014

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 05:  Graziano Pelle of Feyenoord reacts to a missed chance during the Eredivisie match between Feyenoord and VVV Venlo at De Kuip on April 5, 2013 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Italian striker Graziano Pelle’s move from Feyenoord to Premier League side Southampton has edged closer to completion as the player skipped the Rotterdam club’s annual charity event at De Kuip.

The Feyenoord man had, per ESPN FC, hit 23 league goals in 2013/14 to finish as the Eredivisie’s second-highest scorer, behind only Alfred Finnbogason, but this latest episode adds further evidence to the feeling that his future lies away from the Dutch giants.

Pelle’s absence from the annual charity event was confirmed on Twitter by Total Dutch Football:

Rumours of Pelle’s pending switch to Southampton are nothing new. Earlier this week, Graeme Bailey of Sky Sports reported that the two clubs were in negotiations regarding a potential deal for the €12 million-rated striker.

Should the transfer be sanctioned, Pelle would be reunited with former manager Ronald Koeman; the 51-year-old swapped Feyenoord for Southampton last month following Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to join Tottenham Hotspur.

Koeman faces a real rebuilding process at Southampton after the sales of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw, and he has already shown interest in signing players from the Eredivisie.

FC Twente’s Dusan Tadic has been strongly linked as a potential long-term replacement (h/t Sky Sports) for Lallana, and it appears that Pelle could be brought in to replicate the goals vacated by Lambert’s sale.

Despite Pelle’s obvious talent, his time at Feyenoord hasn’t been free from controversy. In February, Bleacher Report’s Mark Patterson reported how the striker had gone on a kicking rampage after seeing his side let a two-goal advantage slip to Eredivisie rivals FC Twente.

That particular debacle ultimately led to the 28-year-old being stripped of the Feyenoord captaincy, via FourFourTwo, in addition to receiving a one-game ban. However, it appears as though Koeman is ready to leave that chapter in the past by bringing the Italian to St Mary’s.


Is Pelle the man to replace Rickie Lambert at St Mary’s? Post your opinions below.