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  • "Experience is one thing but having a manager who gets the best from both the experienced and unexperienced is the key. Pompey for instance had the experience but rubbish management. A good manager would have kept that club in the prem.
    .
    Saints have a great manager in Nige who has proved beyond doubt that he can get the best from the young and inexperienced as well has the more established members of the squad.
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    Personally I think Nige is best with players who don't think their way is best because they've played in the prem before for a 'top 6' team etc. So, players like Owen wouldn't fit in at St Mary's because his mind doesn't and won't work in the 'Southampton Way' and he may undermine Nige's approach."
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Saints wait for J-Rod to jet in

Jay Rodriguez

Jay Rodriguez

First published in Sport

SAINTS are hoping to complete the signing of Jay Rodriguez when the Burnley striker returns from holiday in Mexico.

A deal, thought to be worth about £7m, has been agreed between the clubs for the 22-year-old, who is due back in England next week.

The fee would smash Saints’ previous transfer record of £4m, which they paid for Rory Delap in 2001.

Rodriguez’s representatives are understood to be discussing personal terms with Saints in his absence, with the hope being that the player will be able to undergo a medical and finalise a switch immediately on his return.

Some reports yesterday suggested that midfielder Richard Chaplow was being used as a makeweight in the move.

However, it is thought that the Rodriguez transfer is simply a straight cash deal and there are no plans for Chaplow to leave St Mary’s at the moment.

The 27-year-old has also clearly stated his desire to remain at the club.

Writing on his Twitter page, Chaplow – who started his career at Turf Moor – said: “A lot of RUMOURS flying around on my future, I am still a saints player and it's somewhere I want to stay 4 a long time!”

has been chased by a number of clubs since breaking spectacularly into the first team at Turf Moor.

But the forward has not wanted to leave his boyhood side unless it is for Premier League football.

Rodriguez is understood to be impressed by the ambition shown by Saints, who won promotion back into the top flight last season.

And, while terms are still to be agreed, it appears as though that could be a cruc i a l aspect i n persuading him to leave his home town.

Saints attempted to sign Rodriguez last year, but were met with unwavering resistance from Burnley, while the player himself indicated he was not ready to move at that time.

However, with just one season left to run on his contract, the Clarets have been resigned to cashing in on him this summer.

The Championship side had valued the player at £8m, but the soundings have always been that they would be prepared to accept something in excess of £6m.

Rodriguez, who has one England Under-21 cap to his name, scored 21 goals last season. The year before that, in what was effectively his first full campaign, he bagged 15.

Should he move to Saints, he will be reunited with former teammate Danny Fox, with the left back having joined from Burnley last summer.

Rodriguez also played with midfielder Jack Cork, when he was on loan at Turf Moor in 2010/11.

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