Saturday 7 December 2019

Mauricio Pellegrino: Southampton fans must be patient on new signings

TTheo Walcott remains a target for former club Southampton
TTheo Walcott remains a target for former club Southampton

Mauricio Pellegrino has warned Southampton fans to be patient as they continue their pursuit of Theo Walcott.

Saints are keen to bring England winger Walcott back to the south coast, 12 years after he left to join Arsenal.

However, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has insisted he wants Walcott to stay while Everton have also been linked with the 28-year-old.

Saints boss Pellegrino said: "I cannot talk about players who are not here.

"We know Walcott is a very good player but now it is not my concern to talk about players not in the club.

"The fans have to be patient, everyone at the club wants people to help us to be stronger, especially as Charlie Austin is out for a long period.

"We have to be optimistic, we have a couple of targets and we are working hard in this way.

"The priority now is to try to help, especially in the final third.

"But the market is really difficult. It's about negotiations, we can control our side but not the other side."

Pellegrino is also reportedly lining up a move for Atletico Madrid playmaker Nicolas Gaitan.

The Argentinian has fallen out of favour at Atletico and is understood to want a move in order to bolster his World Cup chances.

"I know him," added Pellegrino. "But I will repeat, in the market you can talk about it when the players sign the contract.

"But I don't believe in only 50 per cent or 60 per cent (completed). I only believe in 100 per cent."

Pellegrino is the latest top-flight manager under pressure with his side without a win in their last nine Premier League outings.

They head to Watford on Saturday lying outside the relegation zone on goal difference alone.

"The pressure is part of the job for every single manager, the biggest risk is to work in football," said Pellegrino.

"We need results, results are everything, I am doing my best. We are not in a good moment but everyone in the squad is conscious that we need to do more."

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