Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Saints board 'will rule on Shaw'

Mauricio Pochettino, pictured, believes Southampton's board will decide on defender Luke Shaw's future

Southampton's board will make the call on in-demand England defender Luke Shaw's future, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The Saints boss says owner Katharina Liebherr and chairman Ralph Krueger will decide Shaw's long-term future, amid reports the 18-year-old would prefer a summer move to Manchester United ahead of Chelsea.

And former Argentina defender Pochettino still expects Shaw to be a Southampton player next season, despite the strong interest from a host of top Premier League clubs.

"That's the first time I've heard about that, it's news to me," said Pochettino of increasing rumours Shaw could make a summer move away from St Mary's.

"At the end of the day Luke Shaw is a player that belongs to Southampton, and it will be the club, Southampton, that makes the decision as to what happens with his future.

"Of course there will be interest in him, but so far right now he's a player at Southampton and it looks as though it will continue that way.

"There are a lot of players who are under interest at Southampton, but they are all very happy at the football club, and most of them are under long-term contracts.

"They understand the situation of what it means to be a professional player in the Premier League.

"There's nothing really we have to speak about on that front.

"If there is any decision to be made, it is for the owners, not for me."

Former Canada ice hockey coach Krueger has admitted he would fight to keep Pochettino at Southampton past the summer, given sustained interest in poaching the Saints boss from the likes of Tottenham.

Pochettino said he sees no reason why Krueger will face a battle to keep him at St Mary's, given he has a year left to run on his current contract.

The former Espanyol manager has already delayed decisions on his long-term future, after previous reports he was close to agreeing a contract extension with the club.

Wherever he ends up next term, Pochettino only expects cordial relations when the negotiations finally come around, claiming the ball is in Southampton's court regarding a new deal.

"I don't think it will be a fight, I have one more year left on my contract," he said.

"The decision will be made by the club, when the club has to make that decision.

"I don't really know why there needs to be this massive effort."

Krueger has pledged to do all he can to keep top talents like Shaw and Adam Lallana at Southampton in the long-term, not just beyond the summer.

Pochettino hailed the club's renewed commitment to driving towards further success.

"It's very good that we have assurances for the future, when you have a club with a structure like Southampton, it's very important to keep those in place," he said.

"It's important to keep on going in the future, and we'll look to the future in a positive way.

"You've got to keep hold of your top players but also add players who can provide further stability for the team."

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