Saints To Sign Japanese Player?

Southampton is apparently on the brink of signing Japan defender Maya Yoshida.

Saints boss Nigel Adkins completely dismissed the prospect of landing the 23-year-old VVV-Venlo player after last Saturday's Barclays Premier League defeat to Wigan.

But it is understood Southampton are poised to complete what is reportedly a £2million deal inside the next 24 hours.

The npower Championship runners-up are also eyeing three more signings before the transfer window closes on Friday night, on top of putting the finishing touches to a move for Bologna star Gaston Ramirez.

Prospective new team-mate Kelvin Davis has claimed the Ramirez raid proves the south-coast club mean business this season.

Saints returned to the Premier League this summer after a seven-year absence, but their campaign has yet to gather any momentum following back-to-back defeat.

Adkins has so far added Steve Davis, Nathaniel Clyne, Paulo Gazzaniga, Jay Rodriguez and Emmanuel Mayuka to his squad, but he hopes to do more business in the next 48 hours.

Top of his wish list is Bologna forward Ramirez. The Uruguay international has been in talks with Saints for some time and despite negotiations faltering at one point last week, an £11million deal is now understood to be close to completion.

Many of Europe's top club's have tracked Ramirez this summer so if he signed for Southampton, it would demonstrate the club are going places, according to Davis.

''Apparently, Ramirez is on his way,'' the Saints goalkeeper said.

''I think it is (a statement of intent). We have done some shrewd business so far and it would be nice to add one or two more that can help us and have that little bit of magic that you need to win games.''

Adkins remained coy when asked about Ramirez, but did confirm that he will be adding new recruits to his squad before Friday night.

''We will be bringing players in,'' Adkins said.

''We will be working hard behind the scenes. The chairman has been great, he has backed us. We achieved back-to-back promotions and now we want to push on.

''It's fair to say that we are going to bring in new players who will push us to that next level where we need to be.''

The club's second string sent a message out to the first XI last night by trouncing Stevenage 4-1 in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

Adkins made 11 changes to his starting XI, and some of those who impressed could now be in contention for Sunday's home game against Manchester United.

Tadanari Lee, making his first start after a five-month injury layoff, opened the scoring before Billy Sharp tapped home from close range.

The club's final two strikes - from Jason Puncheon and 20-year-old Ben Reeves were both top-class, and there were solid performances from rising stars Luke Shaw and James Ward-Prowse.

Davis, who had to settle for a place on the bench, claimed the performance highlighted just how much strength in depth the club have.

''The manager has always rotated the squad in this competition and has looked to freshen it up and get some experience for lads if they need it,'' the 35-year-old said.

''It was great to see Ben Reeves coming on and scoring a fantastic goal.

''It was good to see players who haven't had an opportunity so far this season to stick it in there and show the manager and the club what they can do.

''Tadanari scored, and Billy Sharp did too so that will remind everyone that we have goal scorers at the club and that is great to see.''

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