Southampton were able to perform something of a managerial coup with the announcement of Ronaldo Koeman as their replacement of Maurio Pochettino, although the arrival of the Dutchman could now spark the seemingly inevitable St Mary’s exodus. Liverpool and Manchester United would have been watching the development with interest, and now they may get the green light they have been waiting for.
Saints have already lost both Pochettino, who left to take charge at Tottenham, and Rickie Lambert, a heartwarming acquisition for Liverpool this summer, and it is expected the club may be forced into yet more notable dealings when the transfer window opens.
Captain Adam Lallana is a target for Liverpool and has been the subject of at least one formal offer, while Luke Shaw has attracted serious interest from Manchester United. However, speculation about their respective futures has quietened somewhat after Saints maintained they would not be selling any players until the appointment of Pochettino’s successor.
"Southampton Football Club can confirm that we have received multiple offers for some of our players in the past weeks. This is a confirmation of the depth of the development that is ongoing in our academy and of the present standing of our first team within the Premier League.
We are staying true to our plan and vision and, as a result, we have no need to accept any offers. We are deep in the process of appointing a new manager who will continue to move our club forward. It remains our preference not to partake in any transfers until the new manager is in place."
Lallana, Shaw AND Lovren to leave?
Saints made this pledge in the hope that the new man would be able to convince Lallana, Shaw and, more recently Dejan Lovren, that they should continue at Southampton. It would appear, however, that such an attempt from Koeman would be futile, with their respective minds already made up.
All three of these players are currently on international duty at the World Cup, with England and Croatia respectively, and will return from Brazil as Southampton players still. But for how long? It would appear to be only a matter of time until two, if not all three depart.
While Saints may want to keep Shaw, an offer of £30 million from Manchester United for the 18-year-old is far too good to resist for a club still paying the price for their past financial dealings. Shaw has supposedly already agreed a deal with Manchester United and could well be the first signing of the Louis van Gaal era at Old Trafford.
Lallana, meanwhile, has informed Southampton that he wants to leave, with the 26-year-old aware that Liverpool have already made a £25 million offer to bring him to Anfield. Liverpool have also shown interest in Lovren, and he too has requested a summer transfer away from Southampton.