Connor Wickham's future at Sunderland is in doubt because of the striker's reluctance to sign a new deal at the Stadium of Light and Southampton should think about the possibility of trying to capitalise on this uncertainty.
Sunderland are understood to be keen on keeping Wickham, but getting him to sign an extension to his deal is proving problematic and it seems that he could be heading towards the exit door on Wearside.
With the Black Cats understandably not wanting to lose Wickham on a free transfer next summer, the potential for Southampton to sign him on the cheap is something which may be of interest to them.
The Saints have made a habit out of developing young English talent and, although Wickham is still raw, there is obvious potential there.
Sunderland owed a lot to Wickham's form for keeping them in the Premier League last season and that purple patch was evidence of the talent which made him such a highly-rated teenager.
Pacy, powerful and strong in the air, Wickham has all the attributes to make a success of himself in England's top-flight, but he has not quite fulfilled his early promise yet.
As a barrel-chested teenager he tore apart Championship sides at Ipswich Town, but he hasn't found any consistency since moving to Sunderland in 2011.
Yet, at 21, Wickham still has plenty of time to develop and in a proven system such as the Saints he could thrive.
The youngster has been played out of position for much of this season at the Stadium of Light so it is hard to judge him solely on his goalscoring record, but he would have liked to have hit the back of the net with more regularity.
However, when provided an opportunity, he is normally a reliable finisher and Southampton have had no problems with creating chances.
The Saints need to add quality to their squad if they are to sustain their good form in January, as they have a lack of squad depth, and Wickham could represent a real bargain signing.
Although he may have to play a backseat role on arriving, with Graziano Pelle on fire at St. Mary's, he would make a decent back-up option and, if he does develop into the player he threatened to be, then he would be a great long-term signing.
A fresh start may be all Wickham needs to kick-start his career and, given he isn't likely to cost too much, Southampton could do worse than seriously taking a look into the possibility of recruiting him.