London: Managerless Southampton will not be forced to sell crucial players such as Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw despite allowing striker Rickie Lambert to join Liverpool, the Premier League club said on Monday.
Southampton have endured a turbulent week since manager Mauricio Pochettino departed for Tottenham Hotspur, with speculation mounting that England duo Lallana and Shaw could follow Lambert out of the door.
England striker Lambert completed his move to Premier League runners-up Liverpool on Monday and shortly after Southampton, who have developed a reputation for developing burgeoning talent, released a statement assuring fans they were under no pressure to sell their best players.
"Southampton Football Club can confirm that we have received multiple offers for some of our players in the past weeks," the club said on their official website (www.saintsfc.co.uk).
"This is a confirmation of the depth of the development that is ongoing in our academy and of the present standing of our first team within the Premier League.
"We are staying true to our plan and vision and, as a result, we have no need to accept any offers."
However, the Saints said there may be circumstances when they decide to let players move on and that proved to be the case with the sale of 32-year-old Lambert.
"When Rickie Lambert requested to leave for Liverpool, the club felt it could not stand in the way of having him fulfil his boyhood dream of playing at home," the statement continued.
"It will be a big challenge to replace him and our intention is to source a quality replacement who will fill his shoes now but also for many years to come."
Southampton, who finished the Premier League campaign with a club-record 56 points, said they would not be signing any players until they have a new man in charge at St Mary`s.
"We are deep in the process of appointing a new manager who will continue to move our club forward," the club said.
"It remains our preference not to partake in any transfers until the new manager is in place.
"Our scouting & recruitment department continues to monitor targets we have identified to improve our squad, and the new manager will have final input into our recruitment process."