Marcos Leonardo, who is being tracked by some significant clubs in Europe, was wanted by the Saints last year, and Santos were keen to strike a deal..
Following the sacking of Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager last November, Southampton were really struggling in the Premier League and were on course for a relegation to the Championship if things did not change.
Dragan Solak and Sport Republic, who completed a takeover of the Saints in January 2022, clearly had fresh ideas and appointed then-Luton Town boss Nathan Jones to replace Hasenhuttl, but it ended up being a complete disaster.
The Welshman won just one of his eight league matches in charge of the south coast outfit, and the damage had pretty much been done when he was sacked in February earlier this year and replaced in the interim by Ruben Selles.
Jones was gifted new players in the January transfer window of 2023 as well, with Carlos Alcaraz, Paul Onuachu and Kamaldeen Sulemana being among the significant recruits.