Former England international Darren Bent believes Charlie Austin would be a success at Aston Villa.
They claim the Birmingham outfit are seeking more firepower after returning to the Premier League.
Villa have already signed Matt Targett from Saints this summer and are keen to raid the south coast club again.
Bent said: “Charlie Austin is a funny one because I like him as a centre-forward. He scores goals, you can’t take that away from him – injury prone, that’s the only thing.
“If you can keep Charlie fit for the whole season and if you can keep him consistently playing for 30 games this season he will score you 15 goals.
“Within 10 games he’ll score five or six goals and if Aston Villa can get him, then, by all means, ‘yes’.
“If he’s going to be one that plays six games, miss the next 20, play the next five games and then he misses the next 10 there’s no point, he’s not helping you.”
It is believed Austin has been told he can leave the club and was omitted from the pre-season trip to Austria. He was one of five players to have been left at home, in the understanding they would remain to finalise transfers, The Daily Echo had earlier reported.
Austin turned down West Brom because he wanted to fight for his place, according to the Birmingham Mail. But with the arrival of Che Adams and the permanent signing of Danny Ings, his opportunities in the first-team appear to be minimal.