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  • "When Suarez wanted to leave Liverpool a year ago, the club refused. Liverpool were in no position to issue their ultimatum regarding Rickie Lambert last week and it is again not Liverpool's place to dictate to Saints about Adam Lallana. Liverpool rightly have a selfish approach to keeping their best players and to using tactics to persuade other clubs to sell players to them.

    On the face of it, Rickie's transfer to Liverpool shows that Saints are being kind to the player in letting him move to his home city club. I am now thinking that Rickie would not have known anything more than media rumours about Liverpool's approach to Saints if Saints had refused Liverpool permission to talk to Rickie. I therefore reject the idea that Saints actually wanted Rickie to remain a Southampton player. Logic hopefully tells me that Saints already have players in mind, one of whom might replace Rickie.

    Unlike many of my fellow staunch Saints fans, I do not believe for even a moment that Southampton FC's board of directors are at all naive about player sales. What I do believe is that the club is keeping quiet as usual and that we fans will get good news in due course. We will soon have a new manager. Perhaps the sackings of Jason Dodd and Paul Williams might have happened as part of preparing the way for the employment of a whole new coaching team. Jason and Paul were sacked BEFORE Mauricio Pochettino left the club. The Saints board would possibly therefore have already known Mauricio Pochettino was leaving the club.

    I think the Saints board of directors are currently making some hard headed decisions for the ultimate benefit of the club. There might be players sold, but only on Saints' terms, not their competitors' terms. The Saints first team squad was not large enough during the 2013/2014 season and players have since then been released or sold by the club, making the squad even smaller. The club has indicated that players do not have to be sold. I look forward to the squad being enlarged with players of appropriate quality to help the further progress of Southampton FC.

    We do not know as yet if Saints will sell any more players, but if any are sold, I think the club will get the best possible transfer fees and use the money to increase numbers and overall quality in the first team squad. I shall remain patient and keep faith that by the end of this close season, Saints will be ready for the new season with a new manager and coaching team and some better players.

    The media have reported that almost all our best players will be sold, but that is very obviously bull manure."
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Saints stall Reds over Lallana

Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana

First published in Football

Saints are continuing to play hardball with Liverpool over a deal for Adam Lallana.

The Reds, who are due to complete the capture of Rickie Lambert today, also want to land Lallana before the World Cup begins, writes GORDON SIMPSON.

Liverpool lodged a final bid of £25m on Friday night and informed Saints that the transfer must be completed ahead of this summer’s tournament, or else they will turn their attention elsewhere.

However, despite that ultimatum, which the Anfield club also issued over a deal for Lambert, Saints have so far remained unmoved.

As chairman Ralph Krueger revealed last week, they want to hold off on all transfer dealings until a replacement for Mauricio Pochettino is appointed.

They broke from that policy after Liverpool’s bid for Lambert, believing that it could do more harm than good to prevent the striker making a dream move to his boyhood club.

However, they feel in a stronger position when it comes to Lallana, as is the case in regards to Luke Shaw, with Manchester United making their own attempts to push through a transfer for the teenage left-back this week.

Saints have so far ignored Liverpool’s offer and, with Lallana and the rest of the England squad having landed in Miami last night for a pre-World Cup camp, time is running out for the Reds to strike a deal.

Liverpool, who also want to sign Dejan Lovren this summer, are willing to send staff to Florida this week to conduct a medical, with the national team manager, Roy Hodgson, having said he will allow that to happen during free time if necessary.

However, a deal would need to be agreed with Saints first, and if that does not happen by the end of the week then there is no prospect of it being done before the World Cup is over.

Lallana has previously said that it “makes no difference” to him whether his future is sorted out before or after the tournament, although he is understood to be interested in exploring the possibility of a move to Anfield.

But Liverpool are adamant that they will not offer any more for the player, and although they may be bluffing about switching their attention to other targets, there is a distinct possibility they may chose to move on if this week proves fruitless for them.

If Lallana is desperate to go, he could attempt to force his way out, but, given his affinity to Saints, that would be a big call for him to make.

One Saints player who is definitely leaving before the World Cup is Lambert.

The 32-year-old should be confirmed as a Liverpool player today, having passed a medical on Saturday morning, with Saints receiving up to £5m for him, plus add-ons.

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