Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Krueger: Saints don't need to sell

Published 16/04/2014

Ralph Krueger claims Southampton's summer plans do not include the departure of a big-name player
Ralph Krueger claims Southampton's summer plans do not include the departure of a big-name player

The vultures may be circling overhead but Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger insists the south-coast club are doing everything in their power to "keep this group together".

Saints' attractive, possession-based style and focus on home-grown talent has led to praise from many admirers from across Europe.

Just three years on from playing in League One, the club are on course for a comfortable top-half Barclays Premier League finish but fears are mounting that the team could be broken up this summer.

Key players like Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin have been linked with a move away as has manager Mauricio Pochettino, but Krueger remains calm about the summer ahead.

"The first thing I'd say about Mauricio is that he took his time at Espanyol [where he managed for four years], which was really important," the Southampton chairman told the Guardian.

"What really great managers do is stay in one spot until they cannot evolve there any more.

"If you see managers go one year, one year, one year and then, suddenly, they are in a top league, they don't have the foundation, possibly, to do the job. Mauricio has very carefully planned his career.

"Right now, the only thing I can say, whether we speak about Mauricio or the players, is that what we have here is very good and we are doing everything in our power to keep this group together.

"We are going to create a culture that this is just an excellent organisation to be a part of at all levels.

"Whatever the dynamics of football or the situations that can evolve outside of Southampton do to us as we move forward, we will just keep moving forward. But there has been no talk of selling anything."

Krueger heads a recently-formed board comprised of owner Katharina Liebherr, chief executive officer Gareth Rogers and business lawyer Hans Hofstetter.

The latter recently said they had inherited a "difficult financial situation", highlighted by the £7.1 million loss shown in Southampton's annual accounts for the year ending June 30, 2013.

The club also have £27million in oustanding transfer fees and, while £22million of that is due this summer, Krueger insists there is no need to sell.

"We feel very comfortable that we have a plan that can deal with the situation and we are definitely not factoring in a big player sale," he said.

"We're pretty sure that there are no more surprises and that being the case, we feel comfortable that we're going to be good. And that we will be able to keep this group together."

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