Saints have spent less on agents than almost all of their Premier League rivals in the latest statistics released by The FA.

Only Burnley, Cardiff and Huddersfield spent less than the £6.15m that Saints paid agents for the period that covers the summer 2018 and winter 2019 windows.

Liverpool topped the charts having paid agents nearly £44m.

Under FIFA rules, The FA has been publishing the total payments made by clubs in England's top five divisions to agents for the last three years, as well as a list of every transfer which involved an agent.

The latest figures show that Premier League clubs spent a combined £261m on agent fees during the period in question, £50m more than a year before, an increase of nearly 25 per cent.

Having shelled out £27m on agents in 2017/18, thanks to the transfers of Virgil Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, the Anfield club spent £17m more this season, following the big-money moves for Alisson Becker, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Just as in last year's list, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United complete the top four, with Chelsea spending £27m, City £24m and United £21m.

Everton's summer spending spree saw them rise to fifth in terms of agent fees on £19m, with West Ham next in line on £14m.

The figures also reveal that Eastleigh were one of the bigger spenders on agents in the National League.

They paid out £19,462 in the period to make them the fifth higher spenders in the division, albeit quite some way behind the likes of Salford City and Leyton Orient.

Championship clubs paid out a combined £50m, £8m more than a year ago, with Stoke giving agents more than £7m.

League One sides spent almost £6m, with Sunderland accounting for half of the total on their own, and League Two clubs gave agents just under £1m, Northampton being the most generous.

Overall, English football spent £318m on intermediaries, up £60m on a year ago.

This news comes a day before Premier League clubs are set to meet in London to discuss ways to bring down the amount they spend on middlemen.

The key measures are expected to be a ban on dual representation, the bizarre practice which has allowed agents to represent both the buying and selling club in the same deal, caps on fees and the reintroduction of an exam to become an agent.