SAINTS are reportedly set to battle Premier League rivals Burnley for the signature of Coventry City defender Michael Rose.

The 26-year-old Scottish centre-back is out of contract with the Sky Blues in under 18 months meaning the Championship club may be forced to cash in while they can.

Rose has made 17 appearances in the league this campaign but also played 120 minutes in the FA Cup clash between the two sides at St Mary’s – with Saints eventually victorious.

Daily Echo: Michael Rose played every minute of the St Mary's clash (Pic: Stuart Martin)Michael Rose played every minute of the St Mary's clash (Pic: Stuart Martin)

The former Aberdeen defender could be in line for a first Scotland call-up via manager Steve Clarke, ahead of their vital World Cup playoff next month. If they qualify, he could then feature in Qatar this year.

The Sunday Mirror report details that he is on the radar of Premier League clubs who could swoop for a cut-price deal, named as an early target for Saints and Sean Dyche’s struggling Burnley.

Rose helped Coventry win promotion from League One and is now trying to find his best form back in the Championship, capping off an outstanding rise.

He scored for Coventry at Reading on Saturday, which could have been perfect timing if anyone interested was at the game to watch him.

Speaking after Saturday’s win, manager Mark Robins said: “He was good on the ball and certainly made confident use of it, and that’s the Michael Rose that we see bits of now and again.”

Saints already have four first-team centre-backs in Mohammed Salisu, Jan Bednarek, Jack Stephens and Lyanco – as well as youngster Dynel Simeu trying to carve his own path.

Although Stephens is out of contract in the summer, as it stands, it is expected that he will sign a new deal with the club to stay on.

Ralph Hasenhuttl may choose to have a fifth first-team option for next season, particularly given the serious hamstring tendon injury that could now keep Lyanco out for up to 12 weeks.