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Saints ready to fend off Wolves' Lallana interest
The Midlands club was this week reported to be preparing a £1.5m bid for the 22-year-old in January.
It is the latest round of fairly continuous speculation linking Lallana with a move away from St Mary’s.
Stoke, Birmingham and Celtic have all been rumoured to be considering a swoop for the talented winger in recent months.
And it is no secret that Mick McCarthy’s Wolves have been keeping tabs on Lallana for quite some time.
As far back as the summer of 2009 Saints had what was described as a “derisory” offer, thought to be about £500,000, rejected by administrator Mark Fry – even though Saints were in serious financial trouble at the time.
But while Wolves have again been linked with a move in the national press, the Daily Echo understands such a move is unlikely.
Sources said McCarthy has bigger concerns than looking for a new wide player. Finding a left-back to replace the departed former Saint Jelle van Damme is thought to be the club’s key priority.
And, with Wolves facing a relegation scrap, McCarthy is unlikely to want to gamble on a player untested at the highest level.
Saints are under no financial pressure to sell anyone either, and Lallana is far more valuable to them on the pitch as he helps their promotion bid.
But the speculation is not likely to subside any time soon.
With 20 goals from midfield last season and six already this campaign, Lallana has a burgeoning reputation.
The situation is not helped, as the midfielder’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the season and no word has come out as yet about a new deal.
With January inching ever closer – when Lallana would be free to speak to other clubs – Saints fans obviously have some concerns about his future.
Saints’ position is strengthened, though, as they wouldn’t lose him without compensation, even if he did go at the end of the season.
As he is under 24, Lallana would command a tribunal fee.
However, if Saints do ever receive money for him – at any stage in the future – Lallana’s former club Bournemouth are owed a 25 per cent cut.
That arrangement is part of the deal struck when Lallana moved from Dean Court at age 12.
Last month, Lallana himself responded to the speculation by saying he simply ignores it.
“I don’t even take notice of it,” he said. “If I hear anything I hear it from friends. I don’t go looking for it in newspapers or wherever, because even if you don’t play well, they’re the first ones to tell you, so it’s better to just leave it alone and concentrate on my football.”
Saints boss Nigel Adkins also insisted earlier this season that the club has no intention of allowing its top performers to leave.
In fact, he even welcomed the speculation as a sign the team and the players themselves are both performing well.
“Adam’s a good player and I’d like to think several more clubs will be interested in our group, because that will mean we’re doing well and the players are doing well as individuals,” said Adkins.
“It’s a compliment and long may that continue.
“But we’re not looking to move players on. We’re looking to strengthen because we want to move on to the next level.”