Southampton dismiss Shaw speculation
Southampton director Les Reed has described reports that the club are close to agreeing a deal for Luke Shaw to join Manchester United as ‘totally misinformed’, and dismissed speculation that manager Mauricio Pochettino is set to move on at the end of the season.
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Shaw has been linked with a 30 million pound move to United, with Chelsea also believed to be interested in the teenage full-back who won his first England cap this year.
Sources told ESPN FC in February that United retain a strong interest in signing Shaw, but Reed has insisted no deal is in place for the transfer of any of the club’s leading names.
“As we stand there have been no enquiries, we have had no bids and we have had no offers for any of our players. That’s accurate, that is the truth and that’s exactly where we are,” insisted Reed, who did not comment on the suggestion that United’s bid for Shaw from last January remains on the table.
“Reports that we are about to close deals on certain players are totally misinformed, misleading and are not true. No club has been given permission to talk to any of our players so reports that some of our players are in the process of negotiating stellar transfer fees or contracts are absolutely misinformed and inaccurate.
“No club has been given permission to talk to any of our players and that will remain so. As far as the policy in concerned we have had a great season, we want to build on that season, we want to improve the squad going forward, and we want to retain the players we’ve got. They are all contracted, they all have existing contracts and we intend to honour those contracts.
“Any enquiries we get will probably be met with a ‘no, not for sale.’ Our intention is to keep this very good team together and build on it by bringing in players to improve upon it.
“Every transfer window, particularly the summer, is a difficult one because everybody is out there trying to attract players.
“We have our targets, we want to improve the squad, these are things we are discussing on a daily basis and we intend to produce a squad that is capable of not just maintaining the position we are in at the moment but improving next season.
“It’s a positive message we want to get out there. Our fans deserve to understand there is not going to be a fire sale here and we have repeatedly said that.
“We have had no offers for players, deals are not about to be concluded for any of our players, and we want to keep all of our best players here at the club and build on that for the future.”
Meanwhile, Reed moved to distance the club from suggestions that Pochettino is a leading contender to take over at Tottenham this summer.
“I work very, very closely with Mauricio, we speak every day and sometimes for several hours in the day and so we are very close and talk a lot about all the matters that go on here,” he added.
“I think that there is a lot of misinformation out there at the moment that needs clearing up. With regard to Mauricio Pochettino’s contract negotiations that’s my role and we are very happy with the way we are approaching it at the moment.
“We talk every day and we are talking about the future -- planning, pre-season, planning the transfer strategy. No player will be brought into or leave this club without Mauricio and I discussing it and his agreement. We talk about that on daily basis and we are planning for the future and the long-term future.
“We would like to focus on the remaining games of the season and Mauricio has repeatedly said that and therefore we will pick up the details of any contract talks in the summer when the season is over.
“I would like to re-emphasise that we are happy with that -- both myself and Mauricio are happy with that -- so we can focus on the details of pre-season, transfer market planning and so on. We are both comfortable with the situation.”