Saints will walk away from their pursuit of Andros Townsend if Tottenham insist Morgan Schneiderlin has to be part of any deal to bring the England winger to St Mary’s.
Ronald Koeman is understood to be keen to land the 23-year-old Spurs star and sees Townsend as an ideal fit as he looks to capture a winger before the close of the transfer window.
However, Tottenham have thus far pulled up the barriers on Saints’ attempts to land Townsend, as the St Mary’s club have done with Spurs’ bid for Schneiderlin.
Saints remain hopeful of signing Townsend before the end of the window, with the winger in a different situation to Schneiderlin being on the fringes of the first team squad rather than a key player.
Saints are thought to be willing to pay more than £10m for Townsend, but the Daily Echo understands the club will emphatically reject any attempt from Tottenham to turn the transfer into a swap deal involving Schneiderlin.
The club have made their position on Schneiderlin completely clear and are adamant they will not lose the French midfielder during the transfer window, even if Tottenham increase their paltry £12m offer for his services.
After initially agitating for a move, Schneiderlin has accepted Saints’ decision over his future and he started their opening game of the season against Liverpool at Anfield.
It might be that the pursuit of Townsend goes right to the end of the window, when Spurs could be more willing to do business if the offer is right from a financial point of view.
Saints’ scouting and recruitment department, overseen by Les Reed, do have other targets in mind should the Townsend situation reach an impasse and will ensure they only do any deal that is right for the club.
The Daily Echo understands that Lazio’s Alvaro Gonzalez is not one of the other possible alternatives.
The 29-year-old has been linked with a move to St Mary’s but it is believed the club hold no interest in him whatsoever, and he has never been on any potential list of transfer targets.