Queens Park Rangers director of football Les Ferdinand has claimed that the club could not stop Charlie Austin from leaving as it was the best option for the financial stability of the club.
Austin, who has been heavily linked with a switch to the Premier League in the last few weeks, is said to have cost the Saints in the region of £4m.
"It's no secret that Charlie is out of contract in the summer so this is a decision made in the best financial interests of the club," Ferdinand told QPR's official website.
"Charlie has had a significant impact on this Football club in his time here and we are hugely grateful to him for his contribution during his spell with us.
"Whilst we are sorry to lose Charlie, once he expressed an interest in moving to Southampton, we could not stand in his way."
Austin scored 48 goals in 89 appearances during a two-and-a-half-year spell at QPR.