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Les Reed: Southampton will not sell Virgil van Dijk nor Cedric Soares

I like what I'm hearing.

Soccerex Global Convention 2016 Day 1 Photo by Daniel Smith/Getty Images for Soccerex

As usual, Southampton's brightest players have been linked with moves away from the South Coast to so-called bigger and better clubs in the Premier League, with Virgil van Dijk and Cedric Soares being among the names heavily tipped to leave St. Mary's.

However, Saints Executive Director Les Reed has reiterated his stance that neither player will be leaving the club in this summer transfer window as agreed with new manager Mauricio Pellegrino.

"None of those players are for sale," Reed told Sky Sports News HQ. I can't make it any plainer than that and that's the way we mean to go forward.

"We built this squad over some time and think we have a strong squad. We will fine-tune it but, other than that, we are looking forward to a very competitive season next year and we plan to go forward on that basis.

"There may be players that go on the basis it is the right thing for them and the club at that given time, but we don't expect that to be wholesale and this is simply doing sound business in the transfer window.

"We track players over years and when the new manager comes in like Mauricio, we take him through that process. He'd done his homework on our squad and we don't believe we need to turn over players every year just to freshen things up.

"We've got a strong squad now and it would be about adding players bringing more value and power. It's not broken so there is no need to bring in players just because of fashion or to get people excited in the transfer market."

Reed and Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger have both said this would be the case as Saints' 2016/17 Premier League campaign drew to a close, but Reed's latest comments appear to now carry more gravitas.

Music to any Saints fan's ears.