Mauricio Pellegrino wants Saints to target permanent January deals rather than loan signings in a bid to ease their relegation fears and secure a bright future for the club.

Saints are in desperate need of reinforcements, but as ever the January window is a difficult time to sign the kind of calibre of player that the club wants.

The focus remains on getting in an attacking player after Charlie Austin was ruled out for a lengthy spell with hamstring injury.

Saints are chasing Theo Walcott from Arsenal, while Pellegrino was coy on reports linking him with his former striker Guido Carrillo, who is now at Monaco.

If at all possible Pellegrino wants players at St Mary’s on a permanent basis rather than a temporary deal to ensure they are invested in the future of the club.

He said: “Obviously (we prefer permanent deals) because when you bring somebody for five years it is not the same as bringing somebody for six months.

“I have played on a six month contract and for three or four years and the feeling is completely different.

“It depends obviously. There are some player on the market that it is impossible for us to buy them and others it depends on the age, and you can bring them with the option to buy them in June.

“Now we have got our target but the plan a, b and c and after we are waiting.”

He added: “Everything depends on the situation of the player.

“There are some players that the other part of the negotiation don’t allow us to buy them and the only way we have is to bring them on loan.

“We have to analyse the market and after we will decide.

“Everybody in this club wants the best for the club, and sometimes you have to use this option, but everybody wants to do first of all the best.”

Saints are having to be patient in the January window.

Arsenal may not wish to let Walcott go until they are sure about the future of Alexis Sanchez, who is linked with a January move to Man City, or they have potential replacements.

It might prove a long wait to get deals done as similar situations play out elsewhere.

While Saints do have cash to spend after the £75m sale of Virgil van Dijk, Pellegrino has urged supporters to remain patient.

“The fans have to be patient,” he insisted. “Everybody at this club wants people who can help us to be stronger in the future and right now in the present.

“Especially we have had some problems with Charlie for example who will be out a long period of time.

“We have to be optimistic because we want a couple of targets and we are working in this way.”

Speaking of Walcott he commented: “I cannot talk about players that are not here.

“We know Walcott is a very good player, but now it’s not my concern to talk about players who are not at our club.”

Pellegrino managed Carrillo at Estudiantes and the Saints boss said: “I know him but I repeat that the market you can talk about anyone once the players signs a contract, but before I don’t believe in 50 per cent, 60 per cent. It’s here or nothing.”