Southampton have struck the first blow in the battle for Italy international defender Davide Astori.
The Saints are fighting with Liverpool to sign the Cagliari player with the higher first bid going in from Southampton.
It puts them in the driving seat if Cagliari are trying to offload the player this January. However, initial reports of the story suggest Southampton are still a long way off the desired asking price of £12 million which the Serie A club are thought to be demanding.
It may be a price which Southampton are happy and willing to eventually pay considering they had one of the worst defensive records in the Premier League over the first half of the season as they conceded 37 goals.
The news that Southampton are still some way short of the valuation of Davide Astori means there is time for Liverpool to recover and put in a second bid if they desire.
Although, Liverpool have already spent £12 million of the reported £20 million they had available this January on Daniel Sturridge.
Davide Astori is thought to be viewed by Brendan Rodgers as a long term replacement for current veteran and Anfield legend Jamie Carragher who has been forced to a few domestic cup and Europa League appearances this season.
Southampton could also find it problematic to persuade Astori to sign for them considering that they look destined to be locked in the relegation battle for much of this campaign.
However, Cagliari are in a similar position sitting 18th in Serie A so any move away is unlikely to harm his chance for the national team in the near future.
Reports from Italy have suggested that Davide Astori would consider joining Southampton if the personal terms are sufficient although he would appear to prefer a much more high profile move to Anfield meaning a greater chance of winning silverware in England.