SAINTS are "leading the chase" to sign Blackburn Rovers striker Adam Armstrong, according to a report in the Daily Express.

Armstrong was one of the top scorers in the Championship last season, notching 28 times for Rovers in 40 appearances.

That included two hat-tricks in the final three games of the campaign.

And the Express claim Saints are "set to launch a £15million bid" for Armstrong, with Newcastle and West Ham also linked. The report goes on to say Blackburn are hoping for £20m for their star man, but would be "ready to settle for around £16m".

Saints are said to be at the front of the queue with "initial talks already opened with intermediaries".

Armstrong, 24, joined boyhood club Newcastle United as a nine-year-old, coming up through the ranks to feature 21 times for the first team.

Following loan spells at Coventry, Barnsley and Bolton, Armstrong joined Blackburn, initially on loan in January 2018. He then made that deal permanent the following summer.

He has scored 64 goals in 160 outings for the Lancashire club.