BIRMINGHAM City will only sell goalkeeper Jack Butland to Saints if they receive an “eye-popping offer”.
The 19-year-old Blues ace, pictured, who was part of the England squad for Euro 2012, has been attracting interest from a number of Premier League clubs.
That includes Saints, who have enquired about the player.
However, Birmingham’s acting chairman, Peter Pannu, has said the Championship outfit would only let Butland leave in return for a major fee.
The player is reportedly valued between £3m and £4m.
Included in a statement addressing a number of issues at the club, Pannu said: “Jack Butland and (winger) Nathan Redmond are not for sale unless we are subject to an eye-popping offer.”
However, the Blues are facing a difficult financial future, with Pannu warning they must be careful to avoid administration.
And he has made it clear that Birmingham would consider offers for their top stars.
Pannu added: “Our supporters should be reassured that the club will not accept any derisory financial offers for any of our key players, as has been suggested, but equally we are required to make sound and balanced financial decisions which we accept are not always going to be popular.
“After all, this is a business.
“I am sure no one wants the club to go into administration.”
Butland spent most of last season on loan at League Two side Cheltenham, making 24 appearances and keeping 11 clean sheets.
He is one of a number of keepers Saints have been linked with this summer.
Newcastle’s 6ft 7in stopper Fraser Forster is another the club have asked about.
Free agent Craig Gordon has also been rumoured to be on the radar after being released by Sunderland.
Saints need a new keeper after releasing Bartosz Bialkowski, who has since joined League 1 club Notts County.