Mauricio Pellegrino denies Manolo Gabbiadini is set for January exit from Southampton

Mauricio Pellegrino insists Manolo Gabbiadini remains part of his plans at Southampton

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino has denied Manolo Gabbiadini is set to join Bologna.

Reports in Italy have linked Gabbiadini with a return to his former club but Pellegrino expects the 26-year-old to remain with the Saints as they continue their fight against relegation.

When asked if the Italy international was set to leave in January, Pellegrino said: “I don’t think so.

“This morning I was talking with (vice-chairman of football) Les (Reed). Every day we are talking about some news in the market, if there is the possibility of some players trying to try to leave and some to bring in but nobody has told me anything about Manolo.

“He is an important player for us, obviously he is not playing too much at the moment but he is one of our main strikers and I want to keep him.”

Sky sources understand Southampton remain in talks with Spartak Moscow over a deal to sign winger Quincy Promes.

Pellegrino confirmed the club are looking to sign new players before the window closes but admitted time is running out for deals to be completed.

“Obviously we have been working to bring in players with quality,” said Pellegrino. “Two days left, it is not easy. We will keep pushing but we are not sure until the end what will happen.”

Southampton return to Premier League action when they host south coast rivals Brighton on Wednesday afternoon and Pellegrino believes there is little to separate the two sides.

“In the Premier League now, the difference between every single team in is really tight,” he said.

“Brighton is a good team – they have been working together for a long time. It will be a really difficult game but in the Premier League, one action can change everything.

“I have confidence we are ready to compete well, knowing that it will be really difficult.”