Ronald Koeman believes the club can sign better players than the ones they have lost this summer, and that a deal for Feyenoord striker Graziano Pellè is close to completion.

Saints have already sold Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Rickie Lambert in the past few weeks, and face a fight to keep hold of Dejan Lovren.

But Koeman has told the club’s remaining players that anyone who leaves will be replaced by someone who can, at the very least, match their contribution.

“The important message that I gave was that we will keep the philosophy, we will keep the ambition of the club, and, if we lose some players, we will bring in new players with the same qualities, or even better qualities if that is possible, and that’s important,” he said.

“I spoke to the club and there is money to spend and there is money to continue the qualities in the team, and to bring new players in.”

Koeman added: “It’s important that the rest of the players have to keep that ambition.

“I spoke to some players, some experienced players like José Fonte and Steven Davis, because they have to keep that ambition in the dressing room.

“They are happy to be players of Southampton and I promised them and I promise the fans when we start the season we have a very good team.”

Saints have already signed FC Twente playmaker Dusan Tadic – who Koeman says has very similar qualities to Lallana – and they look set to conclude a deal for Pellè in the next few days.

“It’s close but still not signed,” said Koeman of the transfer.

“We hope maybe this weekend to have him as the second new player of Southampton.”

Koeman also revealed that he did not have a chance to try and persuade either Lallana or Shaw to stay at the club, but said he was kept well informed of their situations during the process of his appointment.

“No, it was clearly finished, and I had no influence in that,” he said.