Southampton are reported to be closing in on the signing Fousseni Diawara, according to French sources.
The 27-year-old is out-of-favour at St Etienne and is now believed to be holding talks with the Saints.
The Malian international featured just twice for Les Verts last season, before he was loaned to Sochaux for the latter part of the campaign.
He now looks set for a move across the Channel, to Southampton, and could very well be their second defensive capture in a matter of days, after they concluded the signing of Wayne Thomas from Burnley.
Thomas has penned a three-year deal at St Mary's, after the two clubs agreed a £1.2million fee.
"I tried to get him when I was at Derby but just missed out because at the time we could not buy anyone," said Saints boss George Burley.
"I was aware Wayne wanted a new challenge and I am delighted to have got him."