SAINTS are understood to be hopeful of completing a club-record deal for Monaco striker Guido Carrillo before their crucial Premier League games next week.

It has been reported elsewhere that Saints have agreed a £19.1m fee for the Argentine, who will add much-needed strength and height in attack to Mauricio Pellegrino’s struggling side.

The Daily Echo understands that the 26-year-old will potentially arrive at St Mary’s before Saints take on Watford in the FA Cup on Saturday – although the 6ft2in frontman will unlikely be available to play in the match.

It is hoped the Argentine will be ready by the time Saints face Brighton and West Bromwich Albion in two huge games in their bid for Premier League survival next week.

Carrillo has been on Saints’ radar since the beginning of the transfer window, with the club looking for new forward options after top-scorer Charlie Austin was ruled out long-term with a hamstring injury.

The deal makes increasing sense when viewing Saints’ current forward options, the success the club have previously had when deploying a big man striker and Pellegrino’s connections with Carrillo.

The forward had his most prolific season under Pellegrino at Argentinian outfit Estudiantes, netting 13 goals in 37 games in 2013/14.

Saints fans will look back fondly on the success of the team with a targetman leading the line.

Club legend Rickie Lambert, also 6ft2in, netted 117 goals in 235 appearances for Saints before 6ft4in striker Graziano Pelle stepped into the former’s shoes in 2014, scoring 30 goals in all competitions over two seasons at St Mary’s.

Carrillo has netted four goals in Ligue 1 this season for the French reigning champions, but has started just twice, with 13 of his appearances coming from the bench.

In total he has scored eight goals, with four more strikes coming in cup competitions, including a hat-trick against lower league side Yzeure in the Coupe de France.

With Austin out injured, leaving only Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long as striker options, Carrillo arrival will be most welcome.

His aerial presence should be a real asset for Pellegrino, meaning Saints will be able to go more direct with him in the side.

Carrillo came through the youth ranks at Estudiantes, eventually making his debut in 2011.

He went onto attract interest from Inter Milan, Benfica and Olympiakos, before switching to Monaco in a 8.8m Euro deal in 2015.

Saints are also working on a £30m deal for Spartak Moscow’s Quincy Promes.