sport

Reed urges Lallana stay

Southampton are eager to keep Adam Lallana out of the clutches of a rival and will only look to sell if big money is offered.

Les Reed, executive director at St Mary's, has warned those considering approaches for top talent on the south coast that they will have to dig deep in order to open negotiations.

Southampton have already agreed to offload Rickie Lambert to Liverpool and are reluctant to part with any more prized assets.

They include Lambert's England international colleagues Lallana and Luke Shaw, with the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United reported to be closely monitoring the pair.

Reed acknowledges that Southampton may have their hand forced if offers that are too good to turn down arrive, but he hopes those nurtured within the club's academy ranks will remain loyal and reject the interest from afar.

He also believes that the appointment of Ronald Koeman as successor to Mauricio Pochettino highlights the club's ambition and should help to prevent players from looking elsewhere.

Reed said: \"We need to sit down, assess and audit our squad and look at the strengths and weaknesses.

\"We'll look at players that we'd like to bring in and then look at the individual cases of the players who may want to leave.

\"Lallana's been here long enough, we've brought him to this level and we feel that perhaps he should give it a little bit longer.

\"Anybody seriously considering coming for our players are going to have to think very significantly about the size of the fee.

\"If we do take money it will be because it's the right amount and it enables us to improve the team and move forward.

\"I hope the (managerial) announcement will prick up a few ears and they will think that's a good, positive move from the club.

\"If players leave, it will be because we believe it is right for the club.\"