Dani Osvaldo has yet to return to Saints as the Italian’s future with the club continues to look uncertain.
The 28-year-old striker had first been due to report for pre-season training almost a fortnight ago but didn’t turn up due to medical reasons, which were backed up by a doctor’s note.
Ronald Koeman had confirmed that Osvaldo was then due back at Staplewood last Sunday to train back in Southampton while the rest of his teammates headed off to Belgium for their short pre-season tour.
However, the Daily Echo understands that Osvaldo has yet to return to Saints.
The club are aware of his reasons, have approved his absence and are monitoring the situation.
It all just adds to the uncertainty over Osvaldo’s future.
If it was already fairly unlikely that Osvaldo would make a return to the first team squad after his headbutt on Jose Fonte, it seems there is even less chance of that happening now.
The impasse in proceedings at the moment seems to suit Saints, who have breathing space to try and find a buyer for Osvaldo.
There are foreign clubs interested such as Inter Milan and Galatasary but Saints have yet to receive a suitable bid and face tough negotiations.
Osvaldo became Saints’ record signing when he joined for an initial fee of £12.9m last summer.
After a comparatively poor season in which he was loaned out to Juventus after his training ground misdemeanour and which saw him over looked for Italy’s World Cup squad, the club are going to do well to recoup their investment.
However, they will not be keen on taking a large cut on someone who has been at St Mary’s for such a short period of time.
There could be the option to do another loan deal to get Osvaldo off the wage bill.
But with Saints reinvesting transfer cash in the first team, the money for Osvaldo could be an extra boost to Koeman as he looks to bolster his squad.
That would be better than having Osvaldo’s contract slowly running down elsewhere and no extra cash to fund a replacement.