CHARLIE Austin is in talks with West Brom over a permanent transfer to the Championship side.

The striker has been told that he is free to leave Saints this summer in order to guarantee himself first team football.

However, he is yet to secure his south coast departure, with the English transfer window closing at 5pm this evening.

West Brom explored the possibility of signing Austin earlier in the window but the ex-QPR hitman dismissed the notion of dropping out of the top-flight.

Premier League newcomers Aston Villa and Sheffield United also made initial enquiries but either of those failed to materialise in anything of note.

Austin has spent the summer banished from first team duties, following a heated argument with manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

The former QPR man lost his spot in the Staplewood changing room and was made to conduct his training away from the squad.

This led to Austin posting a picture on Twitter that resembled someone being frozen out.

And given Saints’ incomings this summer – Che Adams and Moussa Djenepo -  it’s looking unlikely he’ll be able to force his way back into the team if he remains a Saints player after the 5pm deadline.

With the clock against Austin to get a deal done with West Brom, it is favouring fellow want-away players Guido Carrillo and Mario Lemina.

The Saints duo could still attract interest from Europe, with the German, Spanish, French and Italian leagues not closing for business until later this month.

Like Austin, both Lemina and Carrillo have also been training away from the first team throughout pre-season.

Argentinian side Boca Juniors are said to want to sign Carrillo, but Saints would prefer his departure to be of a permanent nature.

Last season they had to loan out Sofiane Boufal, Carrillo, Jordy Clasie, Carrillo, Wesley Hoedt and Cedric Soares.

They’ve already managed to ship Clasie out to AZ Alkmaar on a permanent deal after the Dutch side paid a nominal fee for the outcast.

And apart from a few youngsters heading out on loan, the only other outgoings have been Sam Gallagher and Matt Targett.

Gallagher joined Championship side Blackburn Rovers for around £5m, with Targett joining newly-promoted Aston Villa for £15m.

The club would, in an ideal world, have like to sign another player before the window shuts, but time won’t be on their side.

Although saying this, striker Danny Ings joined Saints at the death last summer, so there is still a possibility a deal could happen to bring a new face in.

They will just need to ship a player out before doing so.