Jose Fonte insists Saints face a pivotal summer and hopes the club will “match the ambition of the players.”

The centre half, who kept another clean sheet with his team in a 2-0 win over Everton, wants to push on and aim for the top six next season.

But with the futures of the manager and star players up in the air, and no definitive news on whether the club wishes to also spend significantly to improve, Fonte is waiting to see.

“Yes, definitely so,” he said when asked if this was a pivotal summer for Saints.

“We will wait to see what is going to happen.

“Of course that is the aim (top six) but we need to see what happens this summer.

“If the club decides to go for it or not.

“We want to be successful and to push forward for better things so let’s hope that they can match the ambition of the players.”

Fonte, right, added: “Of course to get better we need better players than we have. There is no point in bringing in lower quality.

“We need to bring in top quality for us to fight for the top four, otherwise it is very difficult.”

Among those continually linked with a big money move away from the club is teenage left back Luke Shaw.

Fonte said: “He is one of those players who knows that he is a good player, he knows that he has the ability, he is one of those kids who doesn’t care about anything but to do the job.

“He is not affected by anything. He is very confident in his ability.

“For me, he is almost on the plane to Brazil.

“Luke is young and fearless and goes forward and everyone knows he is a top player. If he doesn’t go to Brazil, I would be very shocked.”

It was another fine display from Saints to stun Champions League chasing Everton.

“Maybe we got back to basics and where we were at the beginning of the season,” reflected Fonte.

“It was important to have Victor, as he helped us a lot, and Clyney was man of the match.

“For me and Dejan, it is easier when we have that help.”

He added: “We made Everton look bad.

“You have to give us credit. We are a very strong team, especially at home. We have dominated against everyone here.

“Credit to their manager and players, they tried their best, but we were best on the day.”