After narrowly avoiding relegation from the Premier League last season, pressure is on Mark Hughes as Southampton look to climb the standings in 2018-19.
The Saints have already bolstered their ranks with the captures of Jannik Vestergaard, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Angus Gunn and Stuart Armstong but continue to be active in the market in pursuit of further additions.
With finances delicately poised, exits from the south coast are also likely and the upcoming week could prove to be a busy one for Southampton. Here, we have identified five reported deals that could go ahead.
Danny Ings: Liverpool
After an injury-plagued spell at Liverpool, Danny Ings is seen as surplus to requirements for Jurgen Klopp ahead of the new season and Southampton have emerged as candidates to land the services of the 25-year-old forward.
The Sun states Liverpool want £20m for the striker’s services but Southampton are prepared to only offer half of that figure, with additions based around his appearances and performances – although they face competition in the market from Crystal Palace.
Hughes is looking to bolster his attacking options ahead of the new campaign and Ings could be the ideal signing if he puts his injury problems behind him.
Fraser Forster leaving on-loan
England international Fraser Forster could be leaving the St. Mary’s Stadium following the club’s signing of Angus Gunn from Manchester City, as the 22-year-old is expected to become first-choice for Southampton next term.
The Daily Mail state the Saints are prepared to offload the 30-year-0ld and may ask the former Celtic man to leave on-loan, with the same paper claiming Forster was previously a target for Leeds United before the Lilywhites signed Jamal Blackman from Chelsea.
Unnamed Premier League sides are said to be interested in Forster, who last played for Southampton in the 5-2 defeat to Tottenham on Boxing Day.
Andrea Petagna: Atalanta
Another reported striking target for Southampton, it could be possible that the Saints sign two more strikers before the close of the transfer window – especially if the first player through the door is the injury-prone Danny Ings.
Tuttomercatoweb first reported Southampton’s interest in Atalanta striker Andrea Petagna at the end of June and rumours surrounding the 23-year-old striker continue to float around, though he is also a target for newly-promoted Wolves.
With four goals and five assists in Serie A last season, Petagna is hardly the most prolific striker but could present a decent option for Southampton.
Sam Gallagher to Sheffield United or Blackburn
The Sun on Sunday (July 15, page 59) state both Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers are interested in the services of Southampton striker Sam Gallagher, who looks poised to leave if Mark Hughes secures a deal for a new forward.
22-year-old Gallagher previously enjoyed a successful loan stint with Blackburn in the season before last and has a total of 17 goals in 89 Championship appearances, 11 of which came for Blackburn in the 2016-17 campaign.
However, a deal for the two second-tier clubs could be difficult to negotiate on a permanent basis due to his reported £24k-a-week wages.
Iago Falque: Torino
Another forward target for Southampton, Tuttosport have named the Saints as one of numerous clubs interested in the services of Torino attacker Iago Falque alongside West Ham, Leicester, Sevilla and Valencia.
Now 28, the former Tottenham man has got his career back-on-track in Italian football and has become a crucial player for Torino, scoring 12 goals in 35 appearances last season – adding to the 12 he netted in the previous year on-loan in Turin from Roma.
Torino, understandably, do not want to lose the services of one of their top performers and it could take a considerable offer to begin negotiations with the Serie A side.