Saturday 22 October 2016

Koeman doubts Saints exodus

Published 14/05/2015 | 22:41

Ronald Koeman is hopeful of holding on to his best players this summer
Ronald Koeman is hopeful of holding on to his best players this summer

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman insists there will be no repeat of last summer's mass exodus when the transfer window opens at the end of the season.

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Saints raked in almost £100million last year by selling the likes of Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Calum Chambers but Koeman's side regrouped and are on course to qualify for next season's Europa League following an excellent campaign.

Jay Rodriguez, who is back in training after a 13-month absence with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, signed a new four-year contract earlier this week while the club are increasingly optimistic that Manchester United target Nathaniel Clyne can be persuaded to follow suit.

"I don't think it will be the same changes in the club that we had last season, I don't think so," Koeman said.

"It's still quiet regarding all the players, there has not been one serious bid on the table for a player of Southampton.

"It's all about rumours in the press, but nobody, no club, has knocked on the door to have questions about players of Southampton.

"Of course, it's maybe too early. Everybody is waiting until the end of the season to make decisions about players and transfers and we will wait, but normally, it will be a more quiet summer than last year."

Southampton face a fight to hold on to Toby Alderweireld, whose impressive loan spell may persuade Atletico Madrid to keep the defender or sell him elsewhere for a higher price.

Saints are believed to have a £6.8m option to make Alderweireld's move permanent but Atletico are able to cancel that agreement for a fee of around £1.5m.

"(Chief executive) Les Reed is trying to have contact with Atletico Madrid," Koeman said.

"We know that Toby would like to stay, we would like that he stays at the club but he has a contract with Atletico Madrid and that's sometimes the difficulty.

"I think we need one or two weeks more to know exactly what will happen to Atletico Madrid about Toby Alderweireld."

If Alderweireld does not extend his stay on the south coast, Koeman could rekindle an interest in Ron Vlaar, who is out of contract in the summer and will line up for Aston Villa at St Mary's on Saturday.

"I know Vlaar very well, he is a very good defender," Koeman said.

"The interest before was true but now if we can keep Toby in the team and in the club then we don't need another one in that position."

The focus for now remains on Clyne, with Reed claiming that recent talks have been "very, very positive" and he expects a resolution to be found "sooner rather than later".

"I've been in football a long time and until the contract is signed, anything can happen," Koeman said.

"Of course, that's important that Jay signed a new contract and, of course, to keep Clyne in the club.

"It's not easy to find a good right full-back in the way we play and in the way I like to play with my right and left full-backs.

"He's an international player and if we can keep that kind of player in the club that will be very positive to everybody."

Press Association

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