Mauricio Pochettino described Rickie Lambert’s comments about him this week as “the best compliment a manager can get”.

The Saints striker encouraged the club’s new board to agree a fresh contract with Pochettino, adding that he felt the “sky is the limit” in terms of the Argentine’s potential.

Pochettino, whose current deal expires at the end of next season, said: “The best compliment a manager can get is that a player, publicly, says that, so I am very happy to hear it.

“Regarding any new negotiations, there is no changes from last week until now.”

Last week, Pochettino would neither confirm nor deny whether he was in discussions over a new deal.

Today, he added: “The press knows exactly that I don’t really like to talk about assumptions, I don’t really like to talk about rumours, and when anything happens, either yes or no or whatever happens, a public statement will be made.”

One club Pochettino has been linked with is this Sunday’s opponents, Tottenham, who could be looking for a replacement for Tim Sherwood this summer.

When asked about the speculation, the Saints boss said: “Rumours are normal in football, and we’re completely fine with the rumours hanging around.

“I don’t really have anything to comment on that.

“When I was at Espanyol I was linked to other clubs, nothing came of those rumours and the same thing is happening at Southampton.”