Premier League champions Manchester City are reportedly ready to enter the race to sign Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez in January, with Liverpool and Tottenham also interested.
The Sky Blues have now got just three first team strikers after loaning out Alvaro Negredo to Valencia and John Guidetti to Celtic.
And, with City keen to sign an English player to help fit the homegrown quota for the Premier League and Champions League squad list, Rodriguez is understood to be one of their top targets, according to the Daily Star.
Rodriguez helped Southampton to a best ever points total in the Premier League, and looked to be a contender for the England World Cup squad after he scored 15 goals for the Saints. However a cruciate ligament injury suffered in April, coincidentally against City, ruled him out of contention.
The striker is said to be recovering well from the serious knee injury and is scheduled to return in November. Former boss Mauricio Pochettino is understood to be very keen on bringing him to his new club Tottenham, and even offered a deal of £14 million and Andros Townsend on transfer deadline day.
But Saints rebuffed the move, with the chairman Ralph Krueger reassuring fans that both Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin would not be sold in the summer window, after losing several key players and of course their manager.
Stars Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Calum Chambers and Luke Shaw all departed St Mary's this summer, with their exits accruing a figure thought to be around £92 million, but Dutch legend and former Feyenoord boss Ronald Koeman stepped into the Southampton hot-seat.
And Koeman has been allowed to spend a large chunk of that transfer kitty, bringing in the likes of Dusan Tadic, Graziano Pelle, Shane Long, Florin Gardos and Sadio Mane, all brought in a £47 million spending spree, with Ryan Bertrand and Toby Alderweireld also brought in on season-long loans.