Mark Hughes is hoping to tie up his first signing as Saints manager this week as the club move closer to finalising a deal for Stuart Armstrong.

The 26-year-old midfielder is expected to be confirmed as a Saints player in the coming days after a £7m fee was agreed with Celtic and the player accepted personal terms.

Armstrong’s capture is just the start of the transfer work for Saints with more ins and outs likely to follow before the window closes on August 9.

It is certainly an intriguing signing for Saints given their strength in central midfield.

The club already have three frontline players in Armstrong’s position in the shape of Oriol Romeu, Mario Lemina and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Steven Davis can also play that role along with Harrison Reed, who has returned to the club after a season long loan move to Norwich.

Saints also still have Jordy Clasie on their books too.

They are keen to move on the Dutch midfielder, who was on loan at Brugge last season, but may have to accept less than the £8m they paid for him in 2015 with the 26-year-old still having two years left on his contract.

Armstrong’s capture also raises the prospect that Hughes could wheel and deal a little if he wants with constant background noise over a potential offer for Lemina.

If not then Saints will have strong competition for places in the centre of midfield, and at a reasonable price the move may have just proved too tempting for the club who have coveted Armstrong in the past.

It leaves Hughes the option to change up formation and play three central players, or Armstrong could potentially even be used a little further forward as Davis normally is.

The international, who has won six caps for Scotland, started his career at Inverness Caledonian Thistle but made his professional breakthrough at Dundee United, who are set to receive £540,000 from Armstrong’s move to Saints thanks to a sell-on clause.

He made 149 appearances over five seasons, scoring 21 goals, before Celtic snapped him up in early 2015.

Armstrong went on to establish himself as a regular for Celtic, playing 142 times for the Hoops, scoring 27 goals.

During his time at Celtic Park he has won the Scottish title four times and both the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup twice each.

Hughes welcomes back the first of his squad to Staplewood for the start of pre-season this week and will take a mixed squad containing plenty of young players out to China for a fortnight.

With six and a half weeks until the transfer window closes Hughes will no doubt be pleased to get a first deal of the summer over the line.