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Adkins gives nothing away on transfer targets
9:00am Saturday 14th July 2012 in Sport
NIGEL Adkins is remaining tight-lipped on reports that Saints are closing in on signing Crystal Palace right back Nathaniel Clyne.
The club are understood to be discussing a deal with the out-of-contract 21-year-old, who they will need to pay compensation for.
Rather than going to a tribunal, Saints and Palace seem keen to thrash out a suitable figure between themselves, with the indications being that highly-rated Clyne could cost as little as £1.5m.
Adkins did not deny that the player is a target, but, as is normal with the club’s manager, he was keeping his cards close to his chest.
The same was true for the topic of Vitesse Arnhem left back Alexander Buttner, who is still yet to complete a move despite a fee being agreed between the clubs over a week ago.
“I think with everything at this time of season, there is mass speculation about everybody,” said Adkins, who is also considering a move for Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.
“Many clubs are linked with many, many players. What we’ve endeavoured to do over the years at Southampton is to do everything quietly behind the scenes.
“If it gets in the media spotlight, a lot of times it probably doesn’t happen.
“Anything we do, we endeavour to do privately behind the scenes and that will continue.”
Another right back on Saints’ radar has been Tottenham’s Kyle Naughton.
Reports have suggested the club have submitted a £5m offer for the 23-year-old, although Spurs are currently reassessing his future after the appointment of Andre Villas-Boas as manager.
While specific names might have been off the agenda, Adkins was more comfortable talking about general squad needs.
He revealed that Saints intend to sign as many as two goalkeepers – they have already had a £6m bid for Birmingham’s Jack Butland rejected – and two centre halves before the transfer window closes.
“We’re going to improve the group,” he said. “It is fair to say we are going to need to bring another goalkeeper in as Bartosz (Bialkowski) did ever so well for us but didn’t play enough games.
“We’ve allowed him to move on to Notts County and I am sure he will have a great career up there. We will bring another one, if not two, goalkeepers into the fold.
“From a defensive point of view, as part of the development we have got we want to bring 50 per cent of the youngsters through the youth team structure.
“Aaron Martin, who has waited patiently on the bench, has gone to Crystal Palace for a half season or full season of games to aid his development.
Adkins’ attentions will today be largely focused on the start of pre-season, as Saints welcome a young Arsenal squad – which won’t include former St Mary’s stars Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – and Belgian side Anderlecht for the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup.
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