Liverpool could be about to lose out to humble Southampton in the chase for Italy international Davide Astori. The Cagliari international was also linked with Juventus, but seems to be on the cusp of a move to the Premier League, so can the Reds make an improved offer and pip the Saints to his signature? talkSPORT's Transfer Spotlight has more...
Name: Davide Astori
Date of birth: 7 January, 1987
Birthplace: San Guivanni Bianco, Italy
International appearances: Two (Italy)
What's the latest?
Juventus and Liverpool are two of the big names linked with Astori in recent weeks, but Southampton seem to be the side pulling ahead of the rest. The Saints have offered £9.5m in an effort to tempt Cagliari's hand, though that's short of their valuation of the defender, so Liverpool still have time to try and improve on what their rivals are prepared to pay.
Did you know?
1) Astori started out at Ponte San Pietro, an amateur side affiliated with AC Milan, and he went on to join Milan's youth academy in 2001, where he progressed through the ranks up to Primavera (U19) level. In 2006 he was loaned to Pizzighettone in Serie C1, where he made his professional debut, going on to play 27 times over the course of the season.
2) Though he returned to Milan after his time at Pizzighettone, Astori was sent out on loan once again to Cremonese, who he nearly helped to gain promotion to Serie B before eventually losing in the final of the playoffs. His displays were strong enough to earn him a €1,200,000 move to Cagliari on a co-ownership deal with Milan.
3) The defender made his Serie A debut in a 2-0 win over Siena on 14 September, 2008. After making only 10 league appearances in the 2008/09 campaign, he would go on to become a member of Cagliari's starting lineup the following season, playing 36 out of 38 league games. On the 22 June 2011, Cagliari announced that they had bought the defender outright from AC Milan for €3.5m.
4) Known for his ability to time a tackle, Astori also has a decent leap to go with his 6ft 2in stature. With Cagliari currently sitting in the Serie A relegation zone, a move to a bigger club now seems inevitable for the international.
5) Astori made four appearances for Italy's U18 side, before Cesare Prandelli called him up to the senior squad for the first time to face the Ivory Coast. After failing to make an appearances, he eventually made his debut against Ukraine on 29 March 2011, replacing Giorgio Chiellini in the first half. He was sent off in the second half, however, after picking up two yellow cards. His second appearance came on the 15 August 2012, starting Italy's 2-1 defeat to England.
“So far, I've only heard rumours. Right now, I'm focused exclusively on the team.” Astori on leaving Cagliari.
Astori is also a decent penalty taker, as the video below shows...
Liverpool supporters, would Astori be a good addition to the Reds defence? Leave your thoughts below...