Saints are preparing to receive a formal offer for left back Matt Targett.

Premier League new boys Aston Villa, who have also expressed an interested in Saints striker Charlie Austin, are said to be ready to table an £8m bid for the 23-year-old.

As previously revealed by the Daily Echo, Saints are prepared to let either Targett or fellow left back Ryan Bertrand leave the club this summer if an appropriate offer arrives.

Whether Saints will consider that £8m is enough for their homegrown academy product given that the club have in the past rejected bids for Targett of more than £10m from Fulham remains to be seen.

What is clear is that manager Ralph Hasenhuttl believes that carrying two senior left backs is unnecessary.

The Saints boss likes up and coming youngster Jake Vokins and sees him as a potential back-up option to either of the senior left backs if required.

But he is well aware that the path for Vokins to get into the first team will continue to be blocked while both Targett and Bertrand remain at the club.

Saints are understood to be on the fence over which they would prefer to sell.

Bertrand will be 30 when the new season kicks-off and has two years remaining on his contract.

Targett is considerably younger and has come through the system but there is a feeling that the extra class and experience of the former Chelsea gives him a slight edge.

The club are clear that they cannot continue to hold Targett back in his career.

He wanted a move to Fulham after his successful loan spell but the club blocked it, only to then limit him to 13 top flight starts last season.