SOUTHAMPTON are set to make an early January move for Ryan Fraser, with the winger expected to leave St James’ Park at the start of next year.

Fraser has been a bit-part player on Tyneside in the first half of the season, starting just three Premier League matches despite a number of Newcastle’s attacking players being unavailable for large chunks of the campaign.

The 28-year-old is understood to have been identified as one of the players the Magpies could look to move on in January in order to create space on their squad list for new additions of their own.

The Scotland international has enjoyed being reunited with Eddie Howe, who he previously worked under during the pair’s time at Bournemouth, but is ready to move on in an attempt to improve his chances of playing regular football in the second half of the season.

He will not be short of suitors given his extensive top-flight experience – he has scored 18 goals in 173 Premier League appearances – with Southampton expected to lead the chase to secure his signature.

The Saints are about to embark on a period of rebuilding following the dismissal of Ralph Hasenhuttl, with their new boss, Nathan Jones, keen to put his own stamp on a side that is currently sitting in the relegation zone.

Theo Walcott has failed to make much of an impression following his return to St Mary’s, and Fraser is regarded as an attractive alternative to the former England international in a wide-attacking role.

He has also been linked with a possible move for Brentford, who are also hoping to strengthen in the wide positions when the transfer window reopens at the start of next month.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has been told there is money to spend at the turn of the year, with Fraser understood to feature on a list of potential targets.

Newcastle will be hoping to make transfer moves of their own, having already completed a deal that will see Australian teenager Garang Kuol officially complete his move to Tyneside next month.

Kuol, who was part of the Australia squad that was knocked out of the World Cup by Argentina on Saturday night, is set to be loaned out in the second half of the season, partly to further his footballing development and partly to ensure he is able to gain the experience needed to secure work permit.

Newcastle will make another move for James Maddison next month, with the Leicester midfielder about to enter the final 18 months of his contract,.