Dani Osvaldo is set to seal his move to Inter Milan today – with Saints hoping to secure another two signings in the process.
The Italian will become the sixth player to leave St Mary’s this summer, but unlike the others there will be little sadness or frustration from the fans over his departure.
That will especially be the case if Saints manage to complete deals for Saphir Taider and Ezequiel Schelotto to move in the opposite direction.
Osvaldo’s move to the Italian giants solves a welcome headache for Saints, who felt they could not reintegrate the international striker after his training ground headbutt on teammate Jose Fonte.
Osvaldo pitched up at Milan’s Malpensa airport yesterday afternoon wearing a baseball cap, flowery shirt, an Inter scarf and carrying his guitar. He is set for a medical today and, assuming that passes without a hitch, he will be officially unveiled as an Inter player.
It will be an initial loan deal but with the option for Inter to make the move permanent for €7m (£5.5m).
That would represent a huge loss on the club record initial fee of £12.9m, which had the potential to rise to £14.6m, that Saints paid Roma to bring Osvaldo to St Mary’s last summer.
But it also sounds like it is far more likely to happen than when he was loaned out to Juventus for the second half of last season with an option for a £15.9m purchase at the end of it. Predictably, Juve didn’t exercise that option after he scored just three goals for them, the same number he managed for Saints before that switch, form which saw him miss out on a place in Italy’s World Cup squad.
Just as interesting for Saints supporters as Osvaldo’s move away will be to see players coming in the opposite direction.
Taider is a 22-year-old Algerian midfielder who should sign on similar terms, with a season long loan and option to buy for around €7m (£5.5m).
Also set to head to Saints is Schelotto, another attacking midfielder from Inter, again on loan with a buy out option of around €5m (£3.9m).
Both Taider and Schelotto are well thought of international midfielders.
Taider, who starred for Algeria at the World Cup having opted to represent them at international level despite being born in France and having played for Les Blues at youth level, is an attacking midfielder.
He started his career with Grenoble before quickly being snapped up by Serie A side Bologna.
However, his talents were such that it didn’t take long for the giants of Italian football to become interested, with Inter Milan paying €5.5m last summer to bring him to the San Siro.
Schelotto was born in Argentina but has won one full cap for Italy, against England in 2012.
He started his career at Cesena before moving to Atalanta. From there he had loan spells back at Cesena and also Catania before his switch to Inter.
However, he has struggled to make a first team breakthrough and spent last season on loan at Sassuolo and then at Parma. He scored five goals in 27 games for the two clubs.
Saints have also been linked in Scotland with a move for former Celtic striker Georgios Samaras, who is a free agent after his contract expired.