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Stay or Go? Players Who Could Follow Nicola Cortese out of Southampton

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 16, 2014

Stay or Go? Players Who Could Follow Nicola Cortese out of Southampton

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    It's never, ever quiet on the South Coast when it comes to football.

    After putting together the best half-season in recent memory, Southampton Football Club have hit the self-destruct button once again. Nicola Cortese, the tough-talking, hard-nosed Italian chairman of the club, has resigned from his position, as per The Guardian.

    His firm, but positive, grasp on the club is now at an end. When he joined they were bottom of League One with a 10-point deduction, he leaves them in the top half of the Premier League just four years later.

    Without Cortese's bulldog-like approach in refusing to sell a number of the club's stars, the question begs: which of the bright young talents will be sold?

Rickie Lambert

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    According to The Mirror, West Ham are ready to re-enter negotiations with Southampton over England forward Rickie Lambert.

    The East London club have already been rebuffed once in their attempts to sign him, but with manager Mauricio Pochettino's future unsure following Nicola Cortese's resignation, they can smell blood.

    With Carlton Cole signed to a new 18-month deal and Andy Carroll now returning to fitness, though, do the Hammers really need Lambert?

    January Value: £6 million

    Verdict: Stay

Adam Lallana

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    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    According to The Daily Star, Manchester United are all too happy to reignite their interest in Southampton captain Adam Lallana.

    Their previous advances were rejected straight off the bat in December, but with Nicola Cortese gone, how strong will the club stand when a £25-30 million bid comes in?

    The 25-year-old has been loyal to the club in the past—dropping into League One with them at one stage—but may fall victim to the fervor of the Champions League this time around.

    January Value: £28 million

    Verdict: Could go

Luke Shaw

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    Paul Thomas/Getty Images

    Luke Shaw, a boyhood Chelsea fan, has again been linked to the Blues by The Guardian.

    Most football fans are under the assumption he will one day leave the Saints and affirm his world-class potential at an English footballing behemoth, but will January be the time of sale?

    It looks incredibly unlikely as, per The Daily Mail, the player has reiterated half a dozen times that he's comfortable learning his trade where he is.

    January Value: £30 million

    Verdict: Stay

Nathaniel Clyne

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    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    Perhaps it's because of his injury-prone nature, but it's crazy that clubs are eyeing up Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Co. so fervently, yet ignoring a future England right-back on the same team.

    The Saints look all set to keep Clyne shielded from the vultures this January as he continues his rapid progression, and that spells at least one certain keeper for the window.

    January Value: £20 million

    Verdict: Stay

Dani Osvaldo

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    Tony Marshall/Getty Images

    According to Italian insider Gianluca Di Marzio, Dani Osvaldo has been the subject of Serie A attention this January.

    His season in England hasn't gone to plan, with injuries preventing him building a run of games and his style a poor fit (for now) in Southampton's system.

    Internazionale and Fiorentina have checked in on him recently, but the Viola have now signed Alessandro Matri to alleviate their need for a striker. Inter, who look set to lose Ishak Belfodil, are a prime destination in wait.

    January Value: £16 million

    Verdict: Could go

James Ward-Prowse

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    Jan Kruger/Getty Images

    With the rise of Luke Shaw and continued brilliance of Adam Lallana, it's easy to forget James Ward-Prowse is the most exciting Southampton prospect with the highest upside of all.

    He's a fantastic playmaker, boasts great confidence and has an absolute wand of a right foot, so what's scaring clubs away and making fans forget?

    For now, it's the inconsistent nature of his displays; he's got a lot to learn, but he's still just 19 years of age. Plenty of time to realise the potential.

    January Value: £20 million

    Verdict: Stay

Jay Rodriguez

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    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    Back in November, The Mirror suggested Liverpool and Arsenal would go to war over Jay Rodriguez's signature.

    The Southampton wide forward is enjoying a career-year and links superbly with Rickie Lambert, but is he really ready to make such a leap?

    He's not the finished product and doesn't always show his best; for now, that should be enough to keep him around.

    January Value: £15 million

    Verdict: Stay

     

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