Ronald Koeman is hopeful Saints will sign a defender and a winger before the transfer window slams shut at 11pm tomorrow – but is prepared to allow Saphir Taider to leave little over three weeks after he joined the club.
A turbulent summer of ins and outs at St Mary’s will finally draw to a close tomorrow evening, and before then Koeman is optimistic of adding two fresh faces to his squad.
“We are close but it has to be close,” said Koeman of potential new recruits.
“A defensive player and winger are the two positions we look for.”
However, there will be one rather odd departure from St Mary’s with Taider returning to Italy.
The Algerian midfielder only signed for Saints on what was meant to be a season long loan deal on August 6, but is off already.
Officially he has failed to settle, but when asked about the situation Koeman was clear that Taider didn’t appreciate being told he was not guaranteed first team football and would have to prove his worth like everybody else.
In the end it was decided that it was better for all concerned if he left.
“It was a difficult situation for him,” said a frustrated Koeman.
“I can’t guarantee players to play. We have competition and a lot of good players and you have to show you have to play.
“I always have in mind to put out the best starting line-up and it’s a competition and we need everybody.
“If you show that then it’s no problem but if you can’t accept that then that’s difficult.”
Koeman did admit he would be relieved when the window closes and he finally has a settled squad he can work with.
“I am happy and I think the rest of the managers are happy as well,” he confessed.
“It’s always difficult when you have a lot of changes in the team.
“You are doing pre-season but I have to wait until September 1 to know exactly what players I have in my squad and then you can really work to develop the players, to develop the team.
“It gives us a good feeling after today.”