Cagliari might lose out on two of their priced assets – Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan and Italian defender Davide Astori. Two of their best players, it will be extremely difficult to sustain in the top tier if they lose out on these two.

Radja Nainggolan Cagliari - Serie A

Radja Nainggolan

Cagliari might lose out on two of their priced assets – Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan and Italian defender Davide Astori. Two of their best players, it will be extremely difficult to sustain in the top tier if they lose out on these two.

Cagliari finished 11th this season and without these two players, it will be tough for them to sustain the tempo. The suitors are Southampton (Radja Nainggolan) and Tottenham (Astori). Southampton are the team on a mission. Under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino Southampton is the team to look out for next season. They have recently acquired Dejan Lovren – the Croatian defender has what it takes to succeed at the Premier League. Standing 6’2” he can take on a strikers with ease. Now with Nainggolan they are moving towards a proper double pivot – alongside Morgan Schneiderlin.

Honestly, Southampton gave me the biggest offer at the moment among the other clubs but I don’t play football for money. My priority is looking for a brighter future for my career and Southampton is my last choice. I’m still a Cagliari player, whether I will stay or not depends on the club’s vision for the future. If Cagliari have a good plan for my career, of course I will stay. The situation is uncertain and everything can happen but I have to consider my future career as well.
–  Radja Nainggolan to Goal.com

The Belgian’s defensive contribution is much more than Schneiderlin and is also more versatile. Nainggolan will allow him to move forward with aplomb. This should also act as impetus to their star forward Ricky Lambert. The combination of Gastón Ramírez, Jason Puncheon, Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana should be good enough to earn themselves a Europa League qualification. Unfortunately for the Saints, Inter Milan and Napoli too are keen on acquiring the midfielder – and as per the man himself, Southampton should be his last choice.

Priced at around €14 million, Pochettino might just bring it down. Anything less than €12 million should be a bargain for Southampton.

Davide Astori

Tottenham are perhaps bracing themselves to prepare for live after Bale. And the first step towards that is a water-tight defense. Davide Astori, one of Cagliari’s defensive mainstays, will provide Spurs with his experience of a league which is known for its defensive prowess. Astori has been with Cagliari ever since 2008 and at 26 is perhaps at that part of his career where he should make a move to the more physical Premier League. Alongside Dawson, Verthongen and Walker, Astori will certainly add sheen to the defense at the White Hart Lane. Although Cagliari are hell-bent on holding on to their star defender, it would be difficult for them to do that any longer, should Spurs step-up their pursuit of the Italian.

Davide Astori is a point of reference for the future. He is a player that we would not consider selling. Cagliari will start again from him. He represents us on the world stage and he is a certainty for us. And we have not forgotten when he rejected a move to Spartak Moscow last year in order to remain here. That gesture made us proud.

– Francesco Marroccu, Cagliari Director

Priced at around €11 million, this should be bargain for Villas-Boas and should allow Spurs to capture the coveted Champions League spot, which they have now missed two seasons in a row, after coming tantalisingly close.