Dani Osvaldo could tonight take a major step towards picking up domestic and European title honours – but the Saints record signing still faces an uncertain future.
The 28-year-old Italian striker is just one result away from claiming a Serie A title winner’s medal with Juventus.
Tonight he and his colleagues aim to overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit against Benfica for a place in the Europa League final.
Osvaldo is on loan with the Italian giants after being bombed out by Saints following his training ground bust up with Jose Fonte.
There is no sense of a softening of the mood towards Osvaldo at St Mary’s and his days seem numbered.
However, it is believed Juventus have no wish to exercise their £15m option to sign the bad boy permanently at the end of the season.
Instead, they are said to be preparing for a complete overhaul of their attacking options this summer.
It could all result in Saints having to find a fresh buyer for Osvaldo – and, in all likelihood, make a significant loss on the man they splashed out €15m on just under a year ago.
Juventus brought in Osvaldo to bolster their attacking options, striking a deal with Saints that suited all parties as the club looked to shift him out the door quickly at the end of the January transfer window to maintain dressing room harmony.
However, it looks like Saints could be saddled with the same problems again fairly shortly.
There seems no way back for him at St Mary’s and, with that in mind, and a not particularly glittering 2013/14 which has seen Osvaldo score just five goals and have fresh questions raised as to his character, his value is likely to have fallen.
It will leave Mauricio Pochettino and Les Reed, who confirmed last week he is overseeing transfer policy in conjunction with the manager, with a big problem.
Assuming there is no early bid for Osvaldo this summer, they may attempt to leave the situation on the backburner for a month or so.
Osvaldo, despite his poor goals record this season, is likely to be away with Italy at the World Cup.
Saints will desperately hope he performs well and that stokes up interest in him to bump up his value.
It is, though, a longer term distraction they don’t need as the club face a pivotal summer.
They are already committed to paying £27m in outstanding transfer fees, which is expected to severally hamper their budget to sign players.
To move Osvaldo on and recoup some costs could have a major impact on Pochettino’s spending power and, in turn, the futures of some of his star players who have publically declared they wish to see the board spend. If that does not happen, Saints run the risk of losing one or two of their brightest talents if big offers come in.
Osvaldo’s future could yet impact on that if Saints can make a quick and successful sale.