Southampton are reportedly ready to thwart Liverpool in their attempt to sign Jay Rodriguez by offering the forward a new five-year contract.
Sky Sports claims that the south coast club are unwilling to lose any more of their star players to rival Premier League clubs in hope that the 24-year-old will commit his future. Rodriguez will remain on the sidelines at least till October as he is recovering from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, suffered in April.
Earlier, reports suggested that Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is an admirer of the Burnley academy product and wanted to make him a part of his roster at the Merseyside club for the upcoming campaign.
Rodriguez's current contract is due to expire in two years and the south coast club are hoping to tie him down to St Mary's thus preventing him from following the footsteps of his compatriots. Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana made the switch to Anfield while Luke Shaw became Louis van Gaal's second signing at Manchester United.
The former Swansea boss is also believed to be interested in Dejan Lovren, but new boss Ronald Koeman is keen on retaining most first-team members.
Speaking about his intentions to guide Southampton finish higher up the table, the Dutchman said, "We sold three players, that's good enough. It's good enough money, and now we will keep the rest, because we will continue what they did last season.
"That's the situation. We said in Southampton, OK, this is it, we are not a selling club, the players have some years contracts and we don't sell any more players, and we will do that, and we will keep that."
The former Ajax and Feyenoord manager gave a run out to his young squad in the pre-season friendly against EHC Hoensbroek where the Saints ran out 4-0 winners.
During the press conference, Koeman also heaped praise on the talents available on his roster and stressed on the necessity to sign players this summer.
"There's a lot of potential – you don't need three months for that, you see that in three or four days. We have great talents who still have to show all their qualities," the 51-year-old explained.
"We have some positions [where] we need players. We have a great scouting staff and every day we talk about new players and we talk about the team and about the young players and about the under-21s.I promise the fans – that, when we start the season, we will have a very good team," he added.