Mauricio Pellegrino insists Saints remain ambitious in their desire to improve the squad.

Saints have so far only completed one summer deal with the £5m capture of young Polish centre half Jan Bednarek.

Pellegrino has already revealed that the club have come close to getting a couple of deals over the line, only to be pipped at the post.

The latest player heavily linked with a move to St Mary’s is Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina.

Reports in Italy have suggested that Saints have agreed a £16m fee for the 23-year-old defender, who started his career in France with Lorient and Marseille before sealing a €9.5m switch to Juventus in 2015.

Lemina, who has been capped nine times by Gabon, is mainly known as being an engine room midfielder, who would likely compete with Oriol Romeu and Steven Davis for a place in the side should Saints get a deal done.

Pellegrino appeared to cast doubt on a potential move for Lemina after the pre-season win over Sevilla, but later in the day Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri confirmed the player would be leaving, sparking fresh reports that Saints will sign him.

Pellegrino said: “I don’t know anything about him.

“We are studying the market with some options.

“It is difficult to bring in important players and hopefully some of them can come in to make us stronger.”

However, the manager was adamant that Saints are looking to sign new faces.

“We are there expecting and ready, and always if we can improve our squad we will do it,” admitted Pellegrino.

“It is difficult because we have a good squad but we want to give another step in our ambition from inside and from outside also.”

The good news for Pellegrino is the clear signs of progress Saints showed in their victory over Sevilla in the final game of pre-season.

“I think that little by little we were getting better,” reflected the Saints boss.

“After the first goal and after the second the team had more confidence, but it’s normal against the biggest teams in Europe.

“We have to improve and to learn about everything in the team.

“In the Premier League the characteristics of the teams are different, are more direct, even the biggest team.

“But for that reason you have for me the good teams are the teams that adapt in every single situation, and you have to adapt to every single situation.”