Liverpool and Chelsea have received a timely boost in their alleged pursuit of reported Manchester United target Adam Lallana after the Southampton midfielder admitted he wants to play in the Champions League and challenge for the Premier League title.
Speaking in an interview for the south coast club's official matchday programme ahead of Sunday's clash against the reigning champions at St Mary's, the England international made no secret of his aspirations to play at a higher level.
"I'm certainly ambitious," said Lallana. "I want to one day play in the Champions League and compete for the Premier League title, but I still feel like the same guy I was when we were playing in League One and the Championship.
"I haven't changed my personality or changed as a person. It's a privilege to be in this position and I wouldn't change it for the world."
Lallana - who celebrated his 26th birthday on Saturday - has been the subject of intense transfer speculation in recent months, with the Daily Express intimating that the Saints captain has attracted attention from a host of top English clubs including Chelsea, Liverpool and today's opponents Manchester United.
The Red Devils are believed to be long-term admirers of Lallana, but the fact they failed to qualify for Europe's elite club competition next season could damage their chances of luring the talented playmaker to Old Trafford this summer.
Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in the boyhood Everton fan, with Brendan Rodgers keen to build on an impressive campaign at Anfield by strengthening his Reds squad further at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been mooted as a fan of the 26-year-old, despite his wealth of attacking midfield options already available to him at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have also been linked with highly rated left-back Luke Shaw - another alleged Manchester United target - and the talented teenager is perhaps a more realistic transfer option in the forthcoming window.
Lallana is valued at £20million, and having been with Southampton since the age of 12 it would be with a heavy heart that he departs the club, but realises that he might have to leave in order to progress his career further.
"I just want to be honest," he explains. "I feel I've been honest throughout my whole career and I want to be honest now to whoever I'm speaking to, whether it's the fans, the manager or anyone.
"Every fan would realise that there's big potential in our team and we have players who can go and play at a higher level - we proved that when there were 16 of our lads away on international duty."
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