Southampton are "working exceptionally hard" to secure the signing of Bologna winger Gaston Ramirez, who has also been linked with Liverpool.
Liverpool had been seen as favourites to sign Ramirez for some time after he rejected a move to Tottenham earlier this month, but a surprise move to Southampton looked likely last week after the Saints tabled a bid for the Uruguay international.
Bologna president Albano Guaraldi later insisted that the Saints' ambitious bid for the 21-year-old had not been accepted, and a move to St Mary's looked to be off.
Liverpool are still believed to be keen on signing Ramirez, but reports in Italy earlier this week had suggested Southampton were edging closer to agreeing a fee for the forward, who would cost in the region of £13million.
Saints boss Nigel Adkins says the club's chairman is working hard to finalise the deal, and although he is reluctant to discuss the deal until all the paperwork has gone through, he admits the size of the fee involved shows how ambitious the club's hierarchy are.
"Until the pieces of paper are signed you can never say it's done but the chairman is working exceptionally hard behind scenes and is backing us in what we do," Adkins said.
"We are very ambitious and there is serious cash to be outlaid if it's going to happen."
Guaraldi had said at the weekend that Ramirez was prepared to go on strike in a bid to force through a move to England.
The summer transfer window closes at 23:00 BST on Friday.