Saints are still desperately trying to trim their squad with just over a week left until the close of the transfer window.

With only three sales so far in a summer where there is as much emphasis on who they can get rid of as to who they get in, Saints are struggling to undo their previous transfer errors.

There has been limited to no interest in some of the high earners that Saints wish to shift, and of those that have attracted enquiries the weak negotiating position of the club has meant offers have not been forthcoming.

It is understood that Saints must sell a number of their high earners before they could consider adding to their squad again in this window following the additions of Moussa Djenepo and Che Adams.

If they could manage to shift some players then manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is ready to turn his attentions to recruiting a centre back.

But there is an increasing acceptance around St Mary’s that there will be only two incomings this summer and Hasenhuttl is planning for that being the case.

Saints have only managed to move on Matt Targett, Jordy Clasie and Sam Gallagher during the closed season, with the transfer window set to shut a week on Thursday.

This has undoubtedly been a slow window across the Premier League so far though there is an expectation in the game that things will pick up in the final week.

However, other clubs realise that Saints are desperate to sell and are thought to be holding out in the belief that the St Mary’s hierarchy will be forced to move players out on the cheap close to the deadline.

The way things are going Saints may well face some very difficult decisions in the next week or so.

Head of Football Operations, Ross Wilson, will be expecting to receive some low-ball offers for players he would wish to sell for much more. That will then leave Saints with the decision as to whether to cut their losses and get deals done or try and hold fire for a better offer but risk having the player pick up good wages whilst not playing.

The added complication is that some of the interest has come from European clubs, whose window closes later than the Premier League’s.

That means sides may wait until after the Premier League window is shut knowing Saints’ negotiating hand has been weakened still further, and it would come too late for the club to be able to sign anybody else before January.

Saints have provided Hasenhuttl with his top two targets already this summer but cannot put the long-term financial health of the club at risk by committing to more big contracts without knowing they will clear some space on the wage bill and in the squad.

It could be another case of having to accept some season-long loan deals to get unwanted players out of the picture for Hasenhuttl and kicking the can down the road another year.

The priority for Hasenhuttl at this point is to ensure he has a squad size that is manageable and allows the development of young players.