GORDON STRACHAN is keeping all his options open as Andrei Kanchelskis begins his second week of training with Saints on Monday.

The ex-Manchester United winger has made a big impression since linking up with the St Mary's squad after being released by Rangers this summer, and Strachan is known to be looking for an attacking midfielder to boost his squad.

Strachan has so far played down the possibility of taking on Kanchelskis permanently, saying they are simply helping him stay fit while he looks for a club before next Friday's transfer deadline.

Kanchelskis is now 33 and his age and wage demands would count against a move to St Mary's - but if no-one were to come in for the Russian, this week, the situation could obviously change in an instant.

Threatened with the possibility of playing no football until the next transfer window in mid-season, Kanchelskis may agree to a massive wage cut to continue playing.

On past record, he would certainly fit the bill and he admits he has enjoyed training with Saints, saying: "It's a difficult time to be looking for a club with the way finances are at the moment. Everyone has problems but that's life."

"Saints have a very good training ground and the stadium is excellent.

"They have made a lot of progress in the last few years and there is a good set-up here.

"The players are a good bunch, too, and it helped that there were two Russian-speakers in Marian Pahars and Andrei Pereplyotkin."

Strachan also admitted he has been surprised by how fit Kanchelskis is given his lack of match action and praised his attitude.

He said: "Andrei is just too good a player not to have a club. He hasn't lost any of his skills and my players are learning a lot from him.

"We're doing Andrei a favour and he's doing me one by showing my right-sided players what they should be doing on the pitch. His presence is of mutual benefit - he is very fit and he is a good professional."

The collapse of Saints' deal for Matthew Piper last week still leaves Strachan short of a midfielder who can score goals - and he is in a no-lose situation by having Kanchel-skis at his training ground.

Strachan, meanwhile, bel-ieves his squad is good enough to beat Liverpool today after a win and a draw against Gerard Houllier's men last season.

He said: "We've got enough talent in our team to win and it's great to test yourself in a great arena against one of the top teams."

Finnish keeper Antti Niemi was not in the Saints squad for today's Anfield clash as final routine medical tests still had to be completed.