Southampton are looking to recall two of their top prospects from their season-long loan spells in the Championship.
However, neither have been able to become first-team regulars – as Southampton hoped – and now the Saints are reassessing their spells.
Southampton have already had contact from other clubs willing to take on both players, and that is set to see both deals cut short.
20-year-old striker Gallagher, an England youth international, has started just five games for MK Dons, with the last being nearly two months ago.
And Stephens has found playing time at Middlesbrough even harder to come by – starting just one game, which was the League Cup win at Manchester United. He has featured just once in the league so far.
21-year-old Stephens, who is an Under-21 international, can play in both midfield or defence – but his versatility has not helped him win over Aitor Karanka.
Both now look likely to return to St Mary's in January before heading out again on loan.