Jose Fonte has said the Saints squad will do everything they can to convince Morgan Schneiderlin to stay at the club.
Fonte has penned a two-year contract extension which sees him tied to the club until 2017, and will assume the role of on-field captain, with Kelvin Davis remaining as club captain.
The centre half did have sympathy with Schneiderlin, and also insisted that all the stars who have departed this summer were entitled to make their own decisions, but is hoping there will be no more players leaving the squad.
“It’s very simple. Schneiderlin is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League,” said Fonte.
“As a teammate I want to have him always in front of me.
“He has more interceptions than anyone else, more tackles than anyone else, runs miles. He’s a great player.
“As the manager said it’s a difficult situation.
“For us as a team we want him in the team and we will do everything to make him happy and to make him want to be here and help us achieve great things.”
Fonte admitted the breakup of a successful squad has been at times painful this summer, but is optimistic about the future.
“When you see your best mate when you have been through five seasons of promotions and successes and titles, it’s hard to see them go, but in a way you are happy for them because they go to play in the Champions League and to very good clubs,” he confessed.
“You have to keep moving forward and we are still a great club and I believe we have enough quality to have a very strong season.
“We need a few additions and we need to look forward to the future, wish them well apart from when we play each other, and we keep moving forward.”