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Mourinho dismisses Cech reports

Chelsea 23 hours ago
Read
Jul 28, 2014

Southampton defend player sales

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson examines the work Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has cut out for him as his club unloaded five key players.

Southampton have defended the decision to sell Calum Chambers to Arsenal, the fifth player to leave to a Premier League rival this summer.

- Premier League: Who's in and who's out
- Toe Poke: Ronald Koeman sees the funny side

The 19-year-old defender's move was confirmed on Monday afternoon, hours after Dejan Lovren was transferred to Liverpool.

Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw have also left St Mary's this summer, while manager Mauricio Pochettino took over at Tottenham at the end of May.

With Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez also linked away from the club, executive director Les Reed underlined the depth of young talent still being produced at Southampton and insisted it is important to remain calm as replacements are being actively sought.

He said: "We are naturally disappointed whenever any of our academy graduates leave the club, and that is very much the case with Calum's departure.

"Calum made it clear to us that he did not see his future at Southampton. As such, it was crucial that we were able to negotiate a substantial fee that also reflects the work our staff have put into Calum's development since he joined the club at the age of eight.

"Our position remains unchanged in that we are determined to keep our best young players at the club, as is evidenced by the decision to award Harrison Reed a new long-term contract last week, adding to the list of committed young professionals like James Ward Prowse, Sam Gallagher, Jack Stephens, Jordan Turnbull, Matt Targett, Sam McQueen and others who have seen plenty of first-team activity recently.

"We have an abundance of talent in the academy coming through, and everybody at the club is continuing to work hard on bringing in quality new players as we build a team capable of taking us further forward in the coming seasons.

"It is important in the transfer window to remain calm, resilient and above all patient. We have targets, and we are working hard to get them across the line."

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