Manchester United and Liverpool have been warned Southampton will not be rushed into selling their star players while they look for a new manager.
United were thought to be close to signing defender Luke Shaw and Brendan Rodgers hoped to complete a deal for midfielder Adam Lallana, with both looking to finalise transfers for the England players before the World Cup begins.
But Southampton, who are searching for a replacement for Mauricio Pochettino after he resigned to take charge at Tottenham, say any deals will have to be on their terms -- and need the approval of a new manager.
Chairman Ralph Krueger told the Southern Daily Echo: "It's very clear that we are in control of all the player transfers. All the top players are under long-term contracts.
"Any transfers that take place will be under our terms. We will decide the terms to potential transfers in and out of the club.
"We will involve the manager. That is important for everybody to know. We have been able to not agree to any transfers to date because we have control of the situation, and anybody who is saying anything else doesn't understand that we are in a strong position. We do not need to [sell anybody]."
Krueger's stance explains why the Shaw and Lallana transfers have appeared to stall. Liverpool made a bid of 20 million pounds for the midfielder but Southampton are said to want closer to 30 million pounds and reported interest from Chelsea in Shaw could inflate the 25 million pounds fee United were said to be ready to pay.
But the chairman appears to be driving a hard bargain rather than ruling out player sales. When asked if the club would hold senior players who asked to leave to their contracts, Krueger said: "If transfers in either direction are in the best interest of the club, including all factors, then that's what we have to do.
"It will be in our mind as to what is best for the Saints and what is the best way for us to build a competitive team for Aug. 16."