Southampton A bid of €10 million (£8.8m) for Carlos Alcaraz has been rejected but Racing remains in talks with the club.
Alcaraz, 20, has a €25 million (£22m) release clause in his contract with Racing with hopes of a transfer fee close to that figure.
The Argentine side are awaiting an improved offer from Southampton as talks continue.
Sources close to Alcaraz say the player wants the move and are confident Southampton will offer an improvement on their initial bid.
Southampton are in the market for a new midfielder and Alcaraz is at the top of their short list this month.
Alcaraz has spent his entire senior career at Racing, scoring 12 goals in 83 appearances.
The south-coast side wanted to hold on to the experienced Romeu but first Chelsea The midfielder expressed his desire to seal a return to his homeland.
Mohammed Elyunoussi Can play in multiple positions in midfield, as can Alcaraz, but only has six months left on his current contract.
Southampton need to strengthen having won just three of their 18 Premier League games this season.
They are currently at rock bottom Premier League Jones has led the team to four consecutive top-flight defeats since taking over from Ralph Hasenhuttl in November.
Adam Armstrong defines Southampton’s functional approach
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