Victor Wanyama did not feature for Celtic in their latest pre-season tour match last night, as he inched closer to completing his move to Saints.
A fee of about £12m was agreed for the midfielder some time ago, but after talks initially broke down over personal terms, the transfer was resurrected last week.
Wanyama has been with Celtic on their summer trip to Germany, and Neil Lennon, the manager of the Scottish champions, had said the midfielder would be involved in the game against Greuther Furth last night if nothing had materialised in his move to the south coast.
As it turned out, however, the Kenyan international did not play. Sources in Scotland say the transfer is now all but complete.
Cardiff withdrew from the race to sign Wanyama last week, after refusing to offer more than £10m – a sum rejected by Celtic.
That left the way clear for Saints, who could now quickly wrap up a deal for the 22-year-old, adding him to their other summer signing, Croatian international centre-back Dejan Lovren.