New signing Dusan Tadic should return to action for Saints tonight, while wantaway defender Dejan Lovren may also have to make the short trip to Bournemouth.

Tadic was back in training with his teammates at Staplewood yesterday, after missing Monday’s game against Swindon.

The £11m playmaker, who joined the club earlier this month from FC Twente, was not able to feature at the County Ground, as he had to remain in Holland while waiting for his work permit to come through.

He had been allowed to play in Saints’ opening two pre-season games, but only because they took place on the tour to the Netherlands and Belgium.

Now that he is back, Tadic is expected to feature tonight, as Ronald Koeman takes his squad to the Goldsands Stadium for a clash with Championship rivals Cherries.

He could be joined there by Liverpool target Lovren.

The Croatian centre-half missed Monday’s game against the Robins through injury and did not play on the pre-season tour, having just reported back following World Cup duty.

However, Lovren trained with Saints yesterday and is said to be available to Koeman as an option if he wishes to use him tonight.

It remains to be seen, though, whether the club’s manager wants to play the wantaway defender, who has handed in a transfer request this summer and has said he feels as though his head is already at Anfield.

Koeman said after Monday’s match: “As a manager, I like to work with the players who are happy in Southampton, and I don’t work with the players who are not happy.”

Liverpool are planning to increase their offer for the 25-year-old, having seen two bids rejected for him this summer, and the Reds are confident a £20m deal will soon be sealed.

Saints are aware of the need to sign a replacement, and are working on options, although it is understood that heavily-linked Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar, who played under Koeman in Holland, is not under serious consideration.