SAINTS are hoping to bolster Ralph Hasenhuttl’s defensive options by landing a right-back this month, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Following Cedric’s departure to Arsenal in January, the St Mary’s hierarchy have highlighted potential targets and want to get a deal finalised sooner rather than later.

Although England’s transfer window isn’t open yet, the Daily Echo is led to believe the defender that’s caught their attention is no longer playing due to their season being curtailed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League will resume on June 17 and there is a desire to finish it in August.

If this is successful, Saints will have an incredibly short window, possibly just two weeks, to get themselves ready for the 2020/21 campaign.

And this is why they are looking at getting their transfer business done early.

They know any new arrivals won’t be able to play until next season, but they hope time with the team will help bed them in before the action starts.

Kevin Danso, who arrived on the final day of last summer’s transfer window, struggled to catch up and has, therefore, found it difficult to make an impact.

And the club are keen to ensure that any new arrival has the ability to get themselves up to speed without being thrown in at the deep end as was the case with Danso.

After Cedric’s January exit, Saints signed Tottenham’s Kyle Walker-Peters on loan until the end of the season.

Before the coronavirus crisis, Walker-Peters had played just once for the St Mary’s side.

His progress wasn’t helped with the fact he arrived on the South Coast nursing a minor injury that led to him needing to catch up with Hasenhuttl’s squad.

Aside from Walker-Peters, the only other alternative available to Saints’ manager is to deploy midfielder James Ward-Prowse on the right side of his defence.

Ward-Prowse played a string of games in the position whilst the club waited on Yan Valery to recover from a nasty viral infection that saw him sidelined for over three months.

Saints have agreed on a deal with Spurs that will see Walker-Peters remain at St Mary’s until the current campaign is over.