From 40-1 to 4-1 – that is how dramatically Saints’ odds for relegation have tumbled this summer.

With a significant number of key players having been sold, as well as the departure of Mauricio Pochettino as manager, the bookies’ faith in the club has rapidly diminished over the past few weeks.

Immediately after the end of last season, one major firm pegged Saints as a 40-1 shot to be demoted to the Championship next May.

Just a day later, following news of bids for Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw, they had tumbled to 16-1.

The decline since then has been fairly constant, with the odds being chipped away at as the same thing has happened to the squad.

The loss of Rickie Lambert, Shaw, Lallana and, most recently, Dejan Lovren and Calum Chambers has seen Saints’ chances of survival in the bookies’ eyes drop even further.

However, the appointment of Ronald Koeman as manager, along with the arrival of left-back Ryan Bertrand on an initial loan deal last week, following the purchase of playmaker Dusan Tadic and striker Graziano Pelle, coupled with talk of other imminent arrivals, has seen the club’s price stabilise somewhat.

Saints are currently around the 4-1 mark with most major firms, with their decline giving some indication of how challenging a summer it has been at St Mary’s.

But Koeman’s men are far from the favourites for the drop this term.

WILLIAM HILL RELEGATION ODDS: 4/7 Burnley 2/1 QPR, 9/4 Leicester, 5/2 Hull, 11/4 Crystal Palace, 11/4 West Brom, 3/1 Aston Villa, 4/1 SAINTS, 5/1 Sunderland, 5/1 Swansea, 5/1 West Ham, 9/1, Newcastle, 9/1 Stoke, 150/1 Everton, 250/1 Tottenham, 1,000/1 Arsenal , 1,000/1 Liverpool , 1,000/1 Man Utd, 5,000/1 Chelsea, 5,000/1 Man City.