SAINTS face a race against time this summer, with new recruits needed but the transfer window slamming shut before the Premier League season even begins.

In January Saints failed to hasten their search for new faces and ended up only signing, at the last minute, £19.2m club-record signing Guido Carrillo from Monaco.

Undoubtedly, Saints paid over the odds for striker Carrillo, who has yet to score since joining from the French Ligue 1 side on January 25, and there was clearly a need for more new additions.

But Saints cannot afford to be tardy this summer, with new permanent boss Mark Hughes needing to strengthen a side which struggled to survive in the Premier League last season.

What makes it even more imperative that Saints act quickly is the fact that the transfer window will now close on August 9, the Thursday before the Premier League season starts, rather than on August 31, as has been usual.

On top of that, with the World Cup taking place throughout June and July, meaning potential targets will be otherwise engaged at the tournament, there starts to be even more pressure on Saints early this window.

They usually are not rushed into business, either, and granted they can scarcely afford to rush into recruiting players who are not going to make the grade, having seen some of their more-recent purchases struggle to make an impact.

Certainly, last summer Saints made their two biggest signings into August, spending more than £30m to bring in Mario Lemina and Wesley Hoedt from Juventus and Lazio respectively.

But the club will have to make sure they are beginning to wrap-up deals sooner this time around.

Premier League clubs voted in favour of stopping clubs doing transfer business on the Thursday before the start of the season, opposed to right at the end of August.

This decision was made to avoid the disruption of players moving clubs while the season is underway.

Under FIFA rulings the transfer window has to be open for 12 weeks and that means clubs have been able to sign players since May 17.

The new stipulations mean clubs cannot buy new players after August 9, but can still sell them to foreign clubs up until August 31.

Saints have yet to make any moves, but after missing out on Spartak Moscow’s Quincy Promes in January, were said to be planning to return for the Netherlands international this summer.

Attacking midfielder Promes scored 15 goals and tallied seven assists in the Russian Premier League last season and has also attracted interest from Newcastle and Everton this summer.

Saints pushed hard to get Promes, 26, in January but a deal never materialised, despite the player being keen on a move to St Mary’s.

With Saints’ Premier League status not guaranteed at that point, it was difficult to set-up a transfer for the end of the campaign but their interest remained.

Saints have also been heavily linked with a move for Middlesbrough centre-back Ben Gibson, 25.