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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Pochettino keen to tie Puncheon to Saints

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful that Jason Puncheon will put pen to paper on a new contract in the coming weeks.

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Puncheon, 26, has enjoyed a rollercoaster period at Saints since signing from Plymouth three years ago - being sent on loan several times but emerging as a key figure at St Mary's this season.

And Pochettino wants to see his midfielder commit his future to the club, saying: "I myself haven't spoken anything about his contract. I've only recently arrived so my first priority has to be the whole of the team, not just one player.

"There are certain movements that were already happening with players when I arrived. In the coming weeks we will be speaking at a club level with the appropriate people to decide on the matters of players at the club.

"Puncheon is a player I am counting on and he is a player that has certain qualities and skills that are good for the team so, yes, I'd like him to stay.''

On Sunday Puncheon will be coming up against the man that first brought him to St Mary's. Alan Pardew managed Saints for a little over a year and the Newcastle boss has previously been linked with a move for the winger.

Asked how he would reacted if approached by Magpies boss about Puncheon, Pochettino said: "I wouldn't be able to do anything if that were the case. It will be down to the player to make that decision. I've said before that we will make decisions on the future.''

Reports in Spain suggested one player that Pochettino had hoped to bring in during the January transfer window was Getafe's Abdelaziz Barrada. It was claimed the Saints failed with a club-record £15.25million bid for the midfielder, who has been linked to Barcelona and Real Madrid.

"There is no truth to that,'' Pochettino said. "Nothing of the sort has happened. On a personal level, I have not made any offers, any approaches, for any players.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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