Saints’ club record signing Gaston Ramirez is a doubt for this weekend’s match against Reading after returning to Uruguay this week.
The 22-year-old, pictured, was granted leave by the club to fly back to his homeland after last Saturday’s defeat at Liverpool for what is understood to be a family matter.
His absence casts into doubt his availability for the meeting with the Royals, as two of the Premier League’s bottom three sides go head-to-head at St Mary’s.
Manager Nigel Adkins will be questioned today about when the forward is expected to return, as he faces the media ahead of the Reading match.
Adkins is also likely to be quizzed on Ramirez’s long-term future.
Reports in Italy this week suggested that Fiorentina are keen on luring the player back to Serie A this January and have made contact with his representatives.
The stories emerged after Ramirez told an Italian publication that he would be open to a move to the club in the future.
In the same interview, however, he also stated that he was happy and focused on playing for Saints.
Ramirez only moved to St Mary’s from Italian top-flight side Bologna in August, in a deal worth about £12m.
Should any approach be forthcoming for him, it would be met with stern resistance by Saints.
Despite having been registered for two clubs already this season, Ramirez is technically able to make another switch in January.
For full story don't miss today's Daily Echo.