Man of the moment Jason Puncheon is one of NINE Saints players about to enter the final six months of their contracts.

The 26-year-old, a star performer in Saints’ recent rise up the Premier League table, could even start negotiating with foreign clubs over a free transfer move from St Mary’s when the transfer window reopens on January 1.

Puncheon’s current deal expires next summer along with contracts for Danny Butterfield, Dan Seaborne, Tommy Forecast, Ryan Dickson, Frazer Richardson, Richard Chaplow, Ben Reeves and Artur Boruc.

Saints may move quickly to ensure an extended stay for Puncheon, left, at St Mary’s after one of the most incredible reinventions of recent years at the club.

There looked no chance of Saints even contemplating offering Puncheon an extended contract a year ago when he was frozen out in the wilderness.

The man signed by Alan Pardew quickly fell out of favour with Nigel Adkins and was farmed out on loan to the likes of Millwall, Blackpool and QPR.

There were clubs – including Millwall and Blackpool – interested in signing him.

Saints were believed to be happy to sell, but were holding out for a fee nobody would match.

However, just as injuries hit in Puncheon’s wide midfield position in the second half of last season, the former MK Dons man was welcomed back into the fold.

This season he has gone from strength to strength, establishing himself as a real force in the top flight and has already netted four goals this season.

He has scored three Premier League goals in 13 appearances – the same amount he scored in the first 42 league games of his Saints career.

Others out of contract at St Mary’s next summer are are high profile performers such as Frazer Richardson and Richard Chaplow.

For full story and more Saints news, don't miss today's Daily Echo.