Southampton appear to be a club for whom everything seems rosy. Nicola Cortese seems to have secured funds to invest significantly in order to improve a young and hungry squad. Southampton will not splash unnecessarily, but the defence does need some work.
Last Updated: 15/06/13 12:25pm
What's been said: "We want to maintain the core of our players and our squad. Next year they will perform a lot better and be a lot more settled because they've already had that one year under their belts. The players that do join us hopefully will add more quality and strength to us as well" - Mauricio Pochettino.
The budget: It seems Nicola Cortese has won his argument with the Liebherr trust that owns the club, so expect some similar cash-splashing to last summer.
What's needed: They're quite an exciting team, are Southampton, with the young and vibrant core of a hugely promising team that could only need a few additions to make them really special. And the good news is both Pochettino and Cortese seem to have the ambition and money to do just that.
Those additions should come in some fairly obvious places - a new goalkeeper is probably required, despite some slightly more stable performances from Artur Boruc as the season progressed, and at least one central defender should be recruited, preferably two. Indeed, the signing of Cagliari's Davide Astori might well be done and dusted fairly soon, which would be quite a coup. Some more quality further up the pitch would be handy too, if only to freshen things up and keep the likes of Jay Rodriguez thinking, and there is talk of an imminent deal for Uruguayan winger Gonzalo Bueno. Another striker as an insurance policy against Rickie Lambert potentially being Grant Holt MkII might be sensible as well.
Beyond that, keeping the talent they already have will be the priority. Chelsea are consistently mentioned as suitors for Luke Shaw, while Manchester United could come calling if they think a younger back-up/replacement for Patrice Evra is required. Last season's stand-out performer Morgan Schneiderlin is also likely to receive some attention, with a side like Arsenal the most logical destination.
Ideal signing: Astori would be a great signing to deal with the defensive vulnerability of last season. He would cost a fair price, but has been capped by Italy and turned down a move to Spartak Moscow last summer.
Sky Bet: With a promising core of young players and a raft of signings secured last summer, little seems to be expected from the Saints this window. At 7/1 for relegation, we consider the current squad strong enough to be looking towards a mid-table finish rather than another tussle for survival. Scott Sinclair (7/1), Peter Crouch and Adam Le Fondre (both 10/1) are considered potential options, but we have seen very little money on who the Saints will sign. Transfer specials here
Release list: Danny Butterfield, Ryan Dickson, Tommy Forecast, Sam Hoskins, Ben Reeves, Frazer Richardson, Daniel Seaborne, Alberto Seidi
Read our up-to-the-minute live Southampton transfer feed here