Ronald Koeman has confirmed that Saints do not plan to sign any more centre-backs following the arrival of Florin Gardos.
The Romanian international joined the club this week in a £6m deal from Steaua Bucharest, signing a four-year contract at St Mary’s.
Despite that, Saints have continued to be linked with more defenders, including Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar.
However, Koeman poured cold water on a potential reunion with the player he worked with at his previous club, Feyenoord.
“That’s not true, because we signed Gardos, and that’s it,” he said.
“That rumour was when I was in the pre-season in Belgium and the journalist of the television of Holland asked me about the situation of Vlaar and we spoke about Vlaar and of the World Cup, because I know the player.
“I had the player at Feyenoord and he is a great central defender.
“Of course, he was one of the names on our list, but now we are happy to have Florin Gardos in and now nothing more to others, even Ron Vlaar.”
Koeman believes Gardos is the right man to replace Dejan Lovren, who left for today’s opponents, Liverpool, in a £20m deal earlier this summer, and he is confident the 25-year-old will be a strong and versatile addition at the heart of defence.
“After Lovren left the club, our focus was to bring in a central defender, and he can play on the left side of the central defender position, he can play on the right side of the central defender position,” said Koeman.
“He’s a strong defender and he was already on the list on the club and we are very happy to bring in Gardos.”
A hamstring injury means that Gardos’ debut will have to wait a few weeks yet, meaning a likely partnership of team captain Jose Fonte and Maya Yoshida in central defence this afternoon.
It is certainly a tough start for Saints, travelling to last season’s runners-up in the Premier League.
However, the club can take inspiration from memories of a 1-0 win there a year ago, while Koeman himself oversaw a 2-0 Champions League victory for Benfica at Anfield in 2006.
“We know it’s a tough one, but everybody starts on nil, everybody is the first, and it’s different,” said the Saints boss.
“Everybody has to show their qualities and ambitions and I believe we are very well prepared.
“The players know what is winning at Anfield, I know as a manager what is winning at Anfield, and we are ready to play.”