Alexander Buttner's on-off move to Saints has taken another twist.
The 23-year-old has been part of a protracted summer transfer saga that has tested the patience of all at St Mary's, but sources in Holland have confirmed to the Daily Echo that his club, Vitesse
Arnhem, still expect him to leave this summer.
The top-flight Dutch side have even taken the step this week of excluding him from their team picture for next season, so certain are they now that he will depart.
However, whether St Mary's will be his eventual destination is still a mystery.
It seemed like a normal transfer when Saints agreed a fee with Vitesse for the left sided player, but the deal hit the buffers when a third party claimed they were owed a percentage of the transfer
fee, believed to be around £3m.
Although Buttner's representative, Aleksandar Bursac, was confident the issue would be successfully resolved, it has still not reached a conclusion, leaving the player, his club and Saints in
The news that Vitesse appear to be resigned to his exit, with Buttner having just one year remaining on his current contract, is some kind of a boost to Saints' hopes of getting a deal done but
Nigel Adkins will not want this to drag on any longer than it has to.
Adkins admitted last week that ideally he would have liked to have done more business already with the summer building work for the
Premier League thus far only consisting of recruiting Jay Rodriguez and Steven Davis, who is still unable to play until FIFA sort out his international
transfer certificate wrangle.
Saints are now abroad on their pre-season tour and would have wanted to have a complete squad together now so they had time to gel and prepare properly for the Premier League season, which
kicks-off for them at Manchester City in just 33 days.
If Buttner were to arrive it would strengthen Saints' left hand side cover, which is strong in the full back role but wafer thin in midfield beyond Adam
Lallana . The club are also after a right back, at least one centre half, some pace out wide and a goalkeeper.
There has also been interest in Buttner from Fulham and QPR, who may seek to take advantage of the delay, but the defender had already stated his desire to move to St Mary's.
Buttner has made his name with the Eredivisie outfit Vitesse at left back but he has also played as a winger for the club and at right back while he came through the ranks at Ajax as a more central
The Doetinchem-born player made 107 appearances for Vitesse after making his debut during the 2007/08 season, scoring ten goals in the process, and was part of the provisional Dutch squad for Euro