OGC NICE have confirmed the signing of Saints midfielder Mario Lemina for an undisclosed fee, who had just one year left on his current deal.

The stripping of dead wood from Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad continues with the 27-year-old Gabonese international becoming the second departure of the day, following Callum Slattery’s Motherwell move.

The Athletic had earlier reported that Saints and Nice had agreed a fee around 5.5m euros plus bonuses, a far-cry from the £15m paid to Juventus in 2017.

Lemina played 46 Premier League games for Saints between 2017-2019 but spent the last two seasons on loan at Galatasaray and Fulham and hasn’t featured since.

Some may have suspected that the versatile defensive-minded midfielder might get an opportunity to impress in this depleted Saints side, but Hasenhuttl and the club have continued in a ruthless manner.