Saints remain confident of finalising a deal with Feyenoord for striker Graziano Pellè – despite negotiations dragging on.
Discussions between the clubs have been ongoing for around two weeks now, leading to suggestions that talks had stalled and that Saints had turned their attention elsewhere.
However, the Daily Echo understands that Pellè remains their number-one strike target and there was a growing confidence yesterday that a solution with Feyenoord would be found.
As previously reported, Saints increased their initial offer for the Italian, who turns 29 next week, to about £6.4m (€8m).
They believe that is a fair offer and do not wish to spend much more – especially as the player is likely to have little resale value, given his age.
Feyenoord are understood to want nearer £8m (€10m), knowing that there is pressure on Saints to deliver the signing for new manager Ronald Koeman, who this week got his hands on his other top target – FC Twente’s highly-rated playmaker Dusan Tadic.
However, a compromise on Pellè was said to be getting closer yesterday, with one source describing the deal as having moved from “50-50” to “75-25” in favour of it happening.
Pellè is fond of Feyenoord, but is understood to be keen to follow former boss Koeman to St Mary’s and test himself in the Premier League.
If a deal does happen, it will almost certainly not be confirmed until next week, although Saints will not wish for it to continue on much longer than that.
Pellè is an obvious replacement for Rickie Lambert, after he was sold to Liverpool earlier this summer.
The Feyenoord ace has enjoyed two spectacular seasons in the Eredevisie – the Dutch top flight – since arriving at the Rotterdam club.
In 57 appearances, he has bagged 50 goals, making the 6ft 4in star one of the most prolific frontmen across Europe in the past 24 months.
Last season, he also contributed six assists and laid on 57 chances in the league.
Koeman believes Pellè can translate much of that form to England’s top-flight with Saints.
As well as a striker, the club are also on the search for other additions.
As first revealed by the Echo, Saints want to sign a new goalkeeper this summer, with Celtic’s Fraser Forster and Cardiff’s David Marshall having been linked, although both would cost a significant amount.
They are also said to be interested in signing Norwich winger Nathan Redmond to boost their attacking options.