Southampton will need to raise their offer for Davide Astori if they are to prise the centre-half away from Cagliari.
The Saints are reported to have put a sizeable bid on the table - believed to be around ?8million - but they are still some way short of Cagliari's valuation.
Nigel Adkins has made Astori a top target for the January transfer window and may be prepared to dig a little deeper.
Astori's agent claims his client is interested in a switch to St Mary's, but has made it clear that no agreement is close to completion at present.
Renzo Contratto told Sky Sports: "There is an important offer from Southampton but we don't know if Cagliari want to let him go.
"There is a big difference between the bid and the request of the Italian club, which is about ?12million.
"If Cagliari were to accept Southampton's offer, Davide would be willing to consider the proposal.
"He would have no problem going to play in a foreign league such as the Premier League."