Southampton looking to 'raise the bar', says Saints chief

Les Reed, Executive Director of Southampton, says the club are looking to raise the bar following the appointment of Ronald Koeman.

The appointment of Ronald Koeman signals the start of a new era for Southampton, and Les Reed hopes it will see the club raise the bar following the departure of Mauricio Pochettino earlier this month.

Pochettino departed Southampton for Tottenham on May 27th, but just 18 days later, the new name on the manager's door at St. Mary's Stadium is that of Dutch legend and all-time highest scoring defender Ronald Koeman.

One of Koeman's first priorities as Saints boss will be to establish the future of reported want-away players such as Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana.

It's something that is high on the agenda at Southampton, and Reed says Koeman wants to keep hold of his prized assets, as well as add to the current squad on the south coast. In the event of star players heading out of St. Mary's this summer, Reed has pledged that funding for "high-quality" replacements will be provided by owner Katharina Liebherr.

"Of course he wants a strong squad and a strong team. We've had initial discussions," Reed confirmed to Sky Sports News.

"We've taken a very positive stance on it, Ronald and myself. If we can hold on to our players and those players want to be here, then we will add to it. If players do move, it'll be because it's the right thing for the club. And if they do move they will be replaced with high-quality replacements."

Reed was less forthcoming when asked about potential incomings at Southampton, with the club linked with moves for Feyenoord duo Lex Immers and Graziano Pellè, both of whom played under Koeman at his former club.

"We've got a fantastic manager with a great reputation. Players are going to want to play for him. I think it'll take its course over the course of the transfer window," Reed claimed, before highlighting the issues caused by the World Cup.

"Obviously it's more difficult with the World Cup. These deals are being done behind the scenes at management and executive level. It'll just run its course. As we've always said, we want to strengthen. We've had a few issues to deal with, but we've got over that."

Southampton begin their campaign with a trip to Liverpool, before Ronald Koeman's first home game at St. Mary's Stadium against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday the 23rd of August.

Reed, 61, believes that the Saints fans have every reason to be positive ahead of the new season, following Monday afternoon's confirmation of Ronald Koeman as Southampton manager.

"We've got our manager now. He's won trophies, he's played in Europe as a manager and a player. We think we're raising the bar, and we have got everything to be positive about."

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