Mauricio Pochettino has reiterated Southampton’s stance that Luke Shaw is not for sale, either this month or during the summer.
The 18-year-old is regarded as one of the best talents in the country, and has already shown he is more than capable of holding his own in the Premier League. Since the Saints were reintroduced to the top-flight at the start of last season, the England Under-21 international has gone on to make 44 appearances for the South Coast club.
It was a huge boost for the Saints when Shaw signed a new contract ahead of the current season, which is designed to keep him at St Mary’s until the summer of 2018. Despite this, there have been widespread reports that both Chelsea and Manchester United are desperate to sign the teenager, who is already rated at around £20million.
Ashley Cole is approaching the end of his time at Stamford Bridge, with his contract set to expire at the end of the campaign. The 33-year-old has struggled to nail down a place in the Blues side this season, with right-back Cesar Azpilicueta often preferred, and is likely to miss out to Everton’s Leighton Baines for England at the World Cup Finals.
United, meanwhile, are in a similar situation in regards to Patrice Evra. The France international has been a mainstay of the Reds back four since January 2006, but he too is out of contract in the summer when he is set to leave Old Trafford. David Moyes is therefore looking for a replacement, having been unconvinced by Alexander Buttner.
However, it looks as though the two Premier League giants will have to avert their gazes from the direction of Shaw. With the transfer window scheduled to close in just four days’ time, Southampton are confident of keeping their rising star. Furthermore, Pochettino has alluded that the defender will not be sold at the end of the season either.
“At this moment, Southampton have no interest in selling Luke Shaw,” said the Argentine coach. “Not in the summer, either. Southampton have got a lot of expectation put in Luke’s future and we have no intention of selling him. What is clear is that Southampton believe in these players, want these players, and we have no intention of selling them.”
One player who is unlikely to feature for Southampton much longer is Daniel Pablo Osvaldo. The Italian international only joined the club for a record £15million in the summer, but he has failed to settle on the South Coast and was last week involved in a training ground bust-up with team-mate Jose Fonte. When asked if the former Roma striker could be sold before Friday, Pochettino could only reply: “We don’t know.”