Cedric Soares is set to complete a move to Inter Milan before the close of the transfer window.

The Portuguese right back is expected to join the Italian giants on loan until the end of the season when Inter will have an option to make the deal permanent.

Saints have been linked with a move for Genk defender Joakim Maehle as a replacement for Cedric.

However, the Daily Echo understands that, while Saints do have an interest in the 21-year-old, at this stage a potential deal is more likely to wait until the summer rather than being completed in January.

Cedric has been a peripheral figure under Ralph Hasenhuttl, who has preferred 19-year-old Yan Valery at right back or right wing back.

With Euro 2016 winner Cedric a big earner and surplus to requirements, Saints have been prepared to let him leave this month.

Inter are set to take on all of his wages, and, if things go well, he will move permanently to Italy in the summer, when he will have just 12 months left on his contract.

Cedric signed for Saints in 2015 from Sporting Lisbon for around £5m and has gone on to make more than 100 appearances for the club, scoring two goals.

However, Hasenhuttl has showed an instant preference for other players with Valery and fellow youngster Kayne Ramsay in and around the first team with Cedric often restricted to having to fill in on the left when both Ryan Bertrand and Matt Targett have been missing.

With the young players to pick from and the desire to thin out the squad, Hasenhuttl is understood to be comfortable with sticking with what he has in that position and reviewing the situation in the summer.