Skysports.com understands Southampton are trying to sign Oldham Athletic midfielder Dale Stephens before the loan deadline.
Stephens has enjoyed an impressive season at Boundary Park and is into double figures for goals for the Latics.
He was recently the subject of an enquiry from League One rivals Charlton Athletic, while Leeds United and clubs in the Premier League are also keeping tabs on the 23-year-old.
However, Southampton are hoping to steal a march on the competition by agreeing a loan deal for Stephens before Thursday's 5pm cut-off point.
If the transfer is finalised in time, Stephens could make his debut for Saints after the international break against promotion rivals MK Dons.