Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl insists in-form striker Che Adams will “definitely not” be sold this summer amid links with top-flight rivals Everton and Leeds United.
The Scotland international came off the bench to score twice in last weekend’s 2-1 Premier League win at Leicester and followed it up in midweek with another double in Saints’ 3-0 Carabao Cup success at Cambridge United.
Both Everton, who are desperate for a new frontman after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s injury, and Leeds have been tipped to sign Adams.
But while Hasenhuttl does expect incomings and outgoings before the transfer window closes next week, he is adamant his top scorer will not be among those leaving St Mary’s – with a start highly likely against Erik ten Hag’s side.
“I can categorically say that he is our player and he will stay with us and that we love him, especially when he scores goals,” said the Austrian, speaking ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Manchester United.
“We will definitely not sell him in the summer.
“You are maybe more (informed) in the rumours than I am because I am more concentrating on how I can help him to score goals.
“He’s good in the moment, he’s on fire and this is a signal of feeling comfortable in the situation he’s in.”
Hasenhuttl is preparing to host United on Saturday lunchtime followed by Chelsea just three days later.
Saints boss fully focused on United test
While being coy on his transfer plans, Hasenhuttl admits his focus is purely on the field.
He added: “I don’t want to speak about rumours or transfer news. We play against Man United on the weekend, it’s a big game coming up for us.
“The transfer window is still open, yes, but I try to bring the focus on a very important game for us, a game that can give us direction.
“I will not discuss any player or who is moving where. You can be sure that in these final six days, players will come in and players will go out.
“I don’t know who goes out, I don’t know who goes in but I’m sure there will be something working in both directions.”
As for injury news ahead of the game against the Red Devils, Romain Perrauc could be back.
The left-back could feature against United after returning to training after a groin issue.