Southampton deny they are set to sell top players
25 April 2014, 17:05
London - Southampton have denied reports England duo Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana are set to be sold with executive director Les Reed saying on Friday they had not received any enquiries for their key players.
Eighth-placed Southampton have enjoyed a fruitful Premier League season and, with 49 points from 35 matches, remain on course for a top-10 finish for the first time since 2003.
Much of their success has been down to the sprightly form of left back Shaw and midfielder Lallana, who have been linked in media reports with Manchester United, but Reed says rumours of any players leaving St Mary's are wide of the mark.
"As we stand, there have been no enquiries, and we have had no offers for any of our players," Reed told a news conference on Friday.
"Reports that we are about to close deals on certain players and so on are totally misinformed, misleading, and are not true. No club has been given permission to talk to any of our players."
Despite their on-field exploits, the south-coast club announced last month that they owe 27 million pounds ($45.36 million) in transfer fees.
Reed, however, dismissed speculation that the club's financial situation will have an impact on their ability to swat away interest in their most influential players.
"There is not going to be a fire-sale, we want to keep all of our best players at the club and build for the future," the 61-year-old former Charlton Athletic manager added.
"We have had a great season and we want to improve on it. We want to retain the players we've got. They are all contracted and we intend to honour those contracts.
"Our intention is to keep this very good team together and build on it by bringing in players to improve on that."
Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino, who took charge at St Mary's in January 2013, is yet to commit his long-term future to the club but Reed says negotiations with the Argentine will continue at the end of the season.
"We would like to focus on the remaining fixtures of the season," he added. "We will pick up the contract talks over the summer.
"We're both comfortable with the situation. We are planning for the future and the long-term future."