Sir Alex Ferguson has announced his frustration that Southampton never returned his calls regarding a young talented left-back by the name of Gareth Bale back in 2007.
He claimed that they had got in touch with the South Coast club that January in order to discuss a potential move to Old Trafford for the talented player but the deal fell through due to a lack of communication between the clubs:
“We were disappointed in Southampton at the time because we were first there, but they never came back to us.”
So it is rather apt that this summer is likely to see many a Premier League manager left speaking to the answer phone at St Marys; if the recent comments of current Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino are anything to go by.
He suggested that the club would not be selling their starlets this summer; and also claimed if he were manager and Nicola Cortese chairman that Bale would never have been let go:
“With this current club’s ambition, dedication and vision for the future, it would be very hard for Gareth Bale to leave this club. Right now, our mentality is to keep our best players and we spoke about that with Nicola (Cortese) from the first day. We want to keep our greatest talents but at the same time now we need more time in order to develop our greatest talents as it happened with Bale, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott.’’
This is bad news for plenty of Premier League clubs.
Firstly there is Luke Shaw. He is contracted to sign a full-time deal with the club this summer and despite links with Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea this now seems unlikely; that being despite the teenage full-backs flaunting of his love for Chelsea FC.
Chelsea have also been linked with Nathaniel Clyne this year; they can forget that as well.
Then there is Morgan Schneiderlin. The 23-year-old midfielder has been one of the stars of this season becoming one of the best tacklers in the whole of Europe. Recent reports linked him with a move to Arsenal but Southampton will again rebuff any advances.
Jay Rodriguez on the other hand was strongly linked with a move to Liverpool last month after an excellent run of form in 2013. The 23-year-old however would now also appear to be on the list of players not going anywhere this summer.
It appears the motivation and confidence for European football is high on the South Coast and with these young players now set to stay don’t be surprised if they give it a good go next year.
image: © adam.haworth