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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Graziano Pelle's Southampton contract talks on hold - sources

Southampton are in no rush to hold contract talks with Graziano Pelle despite speculation over his future, sources have told ESPN FC.

Pelle's future at St Mary's has been the subject of speculation for some time with the player being linked with a return to Italy.

The likes of Juventus and Lazio have been credited with an interest in the Italy international, with the player previously admitting he missed his homeland.

Pelle is in the final 18 months of his contract at St Mary's and talks over a new deal have yet to be initiated by either party.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Pelle is unlikely to leave during this month's transfer window, but that Southampton will look to resolve his future at the end of the season.

The 30-year-old, who is currently sidelined through injury, could find his first-team chances limited following the recent arrival of Charlie Austin from Queens Park Rangers.

Austin, who came off the bench to score the winner against Manchester United on Saturday, is expected to be pushing to be Ronald Koeman's first-choice striker in his starting XI for the rest of the season.

With contract talks on hold until the end of the season, Southampton will re-evaluate their options at the end of the season and they could be open to offers for Pelle if they are unable to agree a new deal.

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