Les Reed, Southampton’s executive director, believes that the arrival of former Ajax manager Ronald Koeman will prove vital in Saints’ bid to retain some of their star players, according to BBC
Rickie Lambert has already departed St. Mary’s this summer by returning to boyhood club Liverpool, and other international stars such as Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw have also been linked with moves away from the south coast – but Reed hopes that the appointment of Koeman as successor to departed boss Mauricio Pochettino should be seen as a sign of the club’s ambition, and says that any deals that see players leave will only go ahead if they are genuinely the right ones for the club.
He said: “We need to sit down, assess and audit our squad and look at the strengths and weaknesses. We’ll look at players that we’d like to bring in and then look at the individual cases of the players who may want to leave.
“Lallana’s been here long enough, we’ve brought him to this level and we feel that perhaps he should give it a little bit longer. Anybody seriously considering coming for our players are going to have to think very significantly about the size of the fee.
“If we do take money it will be because it’s the right amount and it enables us to improve the team and move forward. I hope the announcement will prick up a few ears and they will think that’s a good positive move from the club.
“If players leave, it will be because we believe it is right for the club.”
Shaw has been a reported target for Man United for several months now, while Lallana is on the radar of Lambert’s new club Liverpool, though both are presently on international duty with England in Brazil for the World Cup and so any deals are unlikely to be completed until after the tournament’s conclusion next month.
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