RALPH Hasenhuttl admitted whether Saints can make any player sales will “depend on how the market will be” but predicted movement after the season’s first games.

The Austrian boss has a squad of up to 27 first-team players, but can only play a maximum of 16 in any given match – even after a Premier League change from three to five substitutes allowed.

Theo Walcott is the only player, aside from injured Tino Livramento, who has not featured at all during pre-season. Meanwhile, earlier reports had suggested the likes of Nathan Redmond could exit.

But so far, despite signing six new players since the summer transfer window opened, only Fraser Forster and Shane Long have exited from Hasenhuttl’s playing group.

Player sales could pave the way for Saints to pull the trigger on further transfer targets of their own, with the Austrian open about his intentions to bring in another forward at least.

However, asked if it is difficult to offload unwanted players at this time, Hasenhuttl responded: “It depends on how the market will be at that moment.

“Sure there will be after the first games players on the market as they have no chance to play and then they will look for other clubs.”

The opportunity to use five substitutes, as had been the case in the latter rounds of last season’s EFL Cup and standard practice during the COVID restart, will allow for great squad harmony.

“Yeah definitely,” he added. “It gives you a few more opportunities to change things - the opponent also has.

“We are trying to play a very intense way of pressing to it is definitely helpful if you can sub the two strikers at half time and bring two fresh ones.

“This is definitely something that will happen this season, I don't know how often but it will happen for sure.”

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