Walsall manager Colin Lee has said that if he had the money he would jump at the chance to sign Chris Baird, pictured below.

The Northern Ireland right back, who was the star of Saints' FA Cup final appearance in May, has extended his loan spell in the Midlands for a second month and Lee said: "I was very pleased to get Chris back.

"He's only 21 but what a great prospect he is. I wish I could write a cheque for £1m and sign him.

"There are still things he can pick up but he wants to learn, loves playing football and does it with a smile on his face.

"Straight after the Forest game, he was in the dressing room, asking me what time we were in again for training and it's just great to have young and enthusiastic players about the place. I wish we had lots of players like that coming through at this club."

European Cup holders AC Milan are said to be preparing an offer to sign Javier de Pedro, who almost joined Saints in the summer.

The Real Sociedad left winger, who had the most assists in La Liga last season, would have come to St Mary's had Saints met the £2.1m asking price.

Saints offered £1.4m as they knew the player would become a free agent in January - but now the San Siro Club have apparently stepped in.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has admitted the club needs to find a ready-made replacement for Serginho after the Brazilian's injury.

Saints' interest might have cooled anyway as they have since signed Neil McCann but Parma have also expressed an interest in the Spanish World Cup star.

Saints have confirmed Rupert Lowe has increased his club shareholding.

Already the biggest shareholder, Lowe has bought a further 350,000 shares in the parent company and now holds an estimated six per cent.

He said the move was an indication of his faith in the club and added: "I believe the club is on a good footing in relation to our competitors and stronger than at any time since I became chairman."

Saints operate an executive share option scheme and, according to their annual report, Lowe had previously held 1,377,969 shares.

Saints stars Danny Higginbotham and Rory Delap will be at the Saints Store at WestQuay between 4-5pm today (Thurs) signing copies of the new Southampton manager PC game.