Hasenhuttl green lights exit of £11m Southampton striker

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has explained why Manolo Gabbiadini’s impending switch to Sampdoria will prove the best solution for everyone.

The 27-year-old Italy forward is set to return to his homeland, with a reported £11million deal close to completion.

Gabbiadini joined the Saints from Napoli during January 2017, but found his first-team chances limited this season under former boss Mark Hughes and scored just once.

“He is a good player, fantastic technique, but I think with this intensive pressing system we try to play, it is not his way, so it was better to find a solution which is better for both sides,” Hasenhuttl said at a press conference.

“It is a good step for him to go back to Italy, I wish him all the best. I am sure he can score goals at every club in the world, but we try to go another way and for that we need other players.”

Southampton continue to trim their squad, with midfielder Steven Davis having recently rejoined Rangers on loan.

Dutchman Wesley Hoedt is another expected to be moved on.

Hasenhuttl is also hopeful of recruiting in some fresh talent during the January window, but only if the right player becomes available.

“We are looking to bring someone in this transfer period, but it is not easy because in winter you must find a guy who not only for a short-time makes us better, but also for long term,” said the Austrian, who was appointed at the start of December.

“I only want to take a transfer for the future, which is also helping us for the longer term, that is what I want to see.

“It is better to make it as soon as possible, but it is not so easy in the winter break.”

Hasenhuttl added: “We don’t want to be hurried. We will take time, think about it and if you are 100 per cent sure this guy makes us better, then take the decision, not earlier.”

Southampton missed the chance to secure a place in the FA Cup fourth round when Derby fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 on Saturday.

Hasenhuttl will now turn his attention back to the battle for Premier League survival, which continues at Leicester on Saturday.

Danny Ings is still not match fit while the Saints are still waiting on news of the Football Association disciplinary charge against Charlie Austin for allegedly making an “abusive and/or insulting” gesture as he was leaving the pitch during Southampton’s defeat to Manchester City.

“We prepare for Charlie Austin to be playing,” Hasenhuttl said.


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