Southampton’s auto­mat­ic pro­mo­tion hopes remain alive head­ing into the final stretch of the gru­elling cam­paign.

Rus­sell Martin‘s side still have their sights set on a top-two fin­ish to ensure an instant return back to the Pre­mier League.

For the most part, Southamp­ton have enjoyed a pos­i­tive sea­son and their recruit­ment has played a big part in that.

The South Coast­ers utilised the loan mar­ket in the last two win­dows and have brought in six play­ers on tem­po­rary deals.

Bar­ring Mason Hol­gate who saw his con­tract cut short in Jan­u­ary, they’ve all been suc­cess­ful and sup­port­ers will be hope­ful of keep­ing them at St Mary’s beyond the sum­mer.

Southamp­ton F.C News sat down exclu­sive­ly with HITC jour­nal­ist Graeme Bai­ley and assessed the club’s chances of sign­ing each loan play­er on a per­ma­nent basis.

Which Southampton loan players will sign permanently?

Much of Saints’ suc­cess this term has been down to their sum­mer and win­ter arrivals, with Man­ches­ter City loa­nee Tay­lor Har­wood-Bel­lis being the prime exam­ple.

Bai­ley pro­vid­ed an update on which loan play­ers may stay: “It’s going to come down to the sit­u­a­tion on pro­mo­tion. I still think they’ll go up, I still think the main three will go up.

“Brooks, obvi­ous­ly, we know isn’t stay­ing. I think Fras­er will, he’s played well. Har­wood-Bel­lis, he’s an inter­est­ing one because he was the best cen­tre-half in the Cham­pi­onship for Burn­ley last sea­son, he real­ly was. He’s done ok. I think there’s a fair chance that he could remain.

“Roth­well, again, there’s a fair chance that he remains. Fly­nn Downes, he’s ok. Depends on what the fee would be.

“I think two or three of them could stay, it’ll be depen­dent on the price tag.

“Again, it will mas­sive­ly be depen­dent on what divi­sion they are in. So they may not know until May, so they may have to wait for that play­off final, it’s going to be a very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion for them.“

Southampton’s transfer plans on hold

As Bai­ley allud­ed to, Southampton’s trans­fer win­dow will very much be depen­dent on whether they can return to the top flight, which would boost their bud­get ten­fold.

Har­wood-Bel­lis has a £20m oblig­a­tion to buy in his con­tract but that will only be acti­vat­ed if the club go up.

Downes has been a key cog in Martin’s pos­ses­sion-based sys­tem and it seems West Ham may be will­ing to list him up for sale, so he appears the most like­ly to return to St Mary’s next sea­son.

The 25-year-old played under the Saints boss at Swansea City and the pair evi­dent­ly have a great rela­tion­ship.

A busy sum­mer awaits Southamp­ton, par­tic­u­lar­ly with nine play­ers poten­tial­ly depart­ing.

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