Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed that the club have already opened talks with Nathaniel Clyne over a new contract, as they look to ward off interest from Manchester United and Liverpool in the defender's signature.
The Saints boss insists he is not worried by ongoing speculation linking his players with moves away from St Mary's, even after the flurry of high-profile departures prior to his appointment in the summer.
Speaking to the Daily Echo, Koeman explained that there is nothing he can do to prevent Premier League rivals from keeping tabs on his array of exciting young talent, but assured south coast supporters that he will be doing everything he can to keep his most important stars at the club.
"The club is in talks with Clyney about a new contract," he said, before conceding that progress with the newly capped England international has been slow.
"If I have to be worried about those kind of rumours then I will be worried every day and I don’t like that. I like my life and I like to be positive and it’s no issue."
Article continues below
Clyne has established himself as one of the most consistent right-backs in the Premier League, and was recently rewarded for his fine run of form with a call-up to Roy Hodgson's national team squad where he joined former team-mates Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert in the Three Lions fold.
He made his debut in the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia, and impressed again in the emotionally-charged home nations friendly against Scotland a few days later.
The 23-year-old took to international football like a duck to water, and his mature level of performances has not gone unnoticed by the likes of Louis van Gaal and Brendan Rodgers, with The Express reporting on Thursday that both clubs want to sign Clyne in 2015.
Premier League interest
Liverpool have already raided Southampton on three occasions during the summer, and now they want to add the former Crystal Palace man to their ranks as a long-term replacement for Glen Johnson at Anfield.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are known to be on the lookout for right-sided reinforcements next year, as Van Gaal looks to replace Brazilian full-back Rafael with the acquisition of Clyne at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils dealt with Saints during the summer when they spent £32 million on Shaw, making the left-back the most expensive teenager in world football, and now they plan to reunite him with Clyne in time for the 2015/16 campaign.
However, with 18 months still to run on his existing deal, Southampton will not be forced into cashing in on the marauding wide-man, and will surely hold out for another significant transfer fee before agreeing to a sale.