SAINTS are understood to have expressed an interest in Wigan Athletic target Ivan Ramis.

The Real Mallorca defender has also been the subject of interest from Premier League rivals Sunderland, Aston Villa and Swansea City.

Wigan are hopeful that a recent £4m bid for the 27-year-old will be accepted within the next 24 hours.

The likelihood is that Ramis will join fellow Spaniard Roberto Martinez in the north-west.

But Saints’ interest is confirmation that Nigel Adkins is after an experienced central defender with the sort of top-flight experience that Ramis has gained over several seasons in Spain.

It is easy to see why Ramis would interest Saints.

He is the sort of ball-playing centre-half that matches Adkins’s ethos. And as he enters his peak years he is believed to be ready for a new challenge.

Other than a loan spell at Real Valladolid six years ago, the former Spain, U19, U21 and U23 international has spent his entire career with Mallorca, who he helped to finish eighth in La Liga last season.

Saints are also rumoured to be interested in Sweden’s Martin Olsson, who put in a transfer request at Ewood Park following Blackburn Rovers’ relegation from the Premier League.

Blackburn are believed to want £5m for the versatile, left-sided 24-year-old.

Meanwhile, Swindon Town have scotched reports that they have bid £500,000 for Saints striker Lee Barnard , above.

Swindon Town chairman Jeremy Wray said: “There is absolutely no truth in that story whatsoever.”