BOSS Russell Martin insists any prospective Saints signing has to "buy into the vision and style" that the club have "built everything" around.

Saints have already made two experienced signings this summer with the additions of former Saint Adam Lallana, 36, and defender Charlie Taylor, 30.

They are closing in on deals for young defenders Nathan Wood, 22, and Ronnie Edwards, 21, while Taylor Harwood-Bellis is also a permanent addition.

Saints are targeting further improvements in midfield and attack and hold interest in the likes of Celtic top scorer Matt O'Riley.

Following the departure of director of football Jason Wilcox, Martin is working even more closely with recruiters and offered insight into their plans. 

Speaking in a new interview, Martin said: "We will get stronger in the identity of the team and we will get better at so many things.

Saints manager Russell Martin has signed a new three-year contractSaints manager Russell Martin has signed a new three-year contract (Image: Southampton FC)

"I am convinced of that because we have to - and the guys are so willing to learn. We have made a couple of signings already.

"They are going to really help us with that as they have lots of Premier League experience and are demanding characters in the best way.

"They are also people who really want to be a part of this group and what we are building. Anyone who comes in has to buy into that.

"They have to buy not just into being in the Premier League and being grateful for that but for the vision and the style. We have built everything around that now.

"The way we train and the way we behave off the pitch is all built around going onto the pitch and being brave enough to express yourself."

Southampton's players are yet to land back in Staplewood to begin their training - but their return is now imminent.

Early plans had pre-season beginning this week - with the first friendly fixture against Eastleigh at Silverlake Stadium on July 19. 

Looking ahead to the new campaign, Martin insisted: "I can't wait to see all the lads, to give them a hug and say hello.

"Everyone comes back in with a real spring in their step, especially after what we did last season. I can't wait to see them.

"I have been in touch with some of them on the phone but they probably have wanted me to just leave them alone, to be honest.

"We play against Newcastle in the first game, really aggressive and the atmosphere will be really top - it's the best challenge for us.

"We have eight weeks now to prepare for that challenge and it's my job to make sure the players know what it's going to take."