Football: Southampton ready to sell record signing Osvaldo

LONDON (REUTERS) - Southampton are looking to sell their record signing Italian Dani Osvaldo, who has been at St Mary's for less than a year, the Premier League club's new manager Ronald Koeman said.

The Saints paid Roma a club record fee of 15 million pounds (S$31.7 million) for the 28-year-old striker last August, but he only made 13 appearances and scored three goals before joining Juventus on loan after a training-ground fight.

Koeman told BBC Radio Solent the board was now looking to offload him permanently after he failed to arrive back for pre-season training and is now on leave of absence.

"It was a difficult situation for him to come back to. He was too late, The decision of the board was to allow him not to come back," the Dutchman said.

"We have to look for opportunities for him to play in a different team."

Osvaldo scored his first goal for the Saints in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at the end of September and was on target for Italy in a World Cup qualifier against Denmark two weeks later.

But he only scored more two goals for Southampton in the next two months before was suspended for three matches and fined 40,000 pounds after being found guilty of violent conduct in a 1-1 draw at Newcastle in December.

He was then involved in a training bust-up with team mate Jose Fonte and returned to Italy on loan with Juventus.

Although Juve won the Serie A title, he scored only three goals in 18 matches and Italian coach Cesare Prandelli left him out of his World Cup squad.

Koeman also confirmed that Croatian defender Dejan Lovren, who also joined the club a year ago, had asked to leave. "He said he would like to go, we will wait for the bid, but if there is no bid we will continue. I know the situation," he said.

Southampton have sold defender Luke Shaw to Manchester United and midfielder Adam Lallana and striker Rickie Lambert to Liverpool since the end of last season.

Lovren has also been linked with a move to Liverpool, who face Southampton on the opening day of the new season at Anfield on Aug 16.