Southampton may lose a key asset this summer transfer window with the uncertainty of the club's league next season lying in limbo; Manolo Gabbiadini has admitted he wants to return to Italy after the climax of the Premier League season.
The 26 year-old was acquired by the Saints in January of last year on a deal from Italian outfit Napoli and became an instant favourite with the supporters, netting six goals in twelve appearances between his arrival and the end of last season.
However, Gabbiadini's time at Southampton has been largely uninspiring under the management of Mauricio Pellegrino - finding the net on a measly four occasions in 29 matches for the first-team in the 2017/18 term.
Despite the appointment of Mark Hughes, it would seem apparent that the 11-time capped international would like to revive his career away from the Premier League, preferring a move back to Italy.
Can the Saints afford to lose such an integral player in their squad?
Undoubtedly, Gabbiadini is one of the highest-valued footballers in Southampton's senior squad and it could be detrimental if the club happens to lose such an asset.
Hughes is expected to drift the Saints wide of relegation to the Championship and ensure their top-flight status, and that has possibly got something to do with Gabbiadini feeling a return to Italy is likely.
Southampton's most recent, rare trip to Wembley will be a memory for most to cherish for years to come, despite the defeat, having seen Claude Puel's Saints net two goals against Manchester United and the want-away player was the one to score both.
Admittedly, his prolific form has diminished this season with the team looming above the bottom three for much of the campaign. Hughes' predecessor, Pellegrino, was keen on rotating his front man and Gabbiadini had to battle with Shane Long for first-choice striker.
A suitable fee for the player's return to Italy and Southampton can easily afford to lose him, however, there needs to be investment in other areas of the pitch as well otherwise a successive relegation threat is on the cards and that is something supporters do not want to stress about, again.