RALPH Hasenhuttl has warned fans that even under new owners the sale of key men and star players still “will happen in the future,” and added: “This is normal in football.”

Saints’ supporters have become accustomed to the club’s prized assets being moved on for good fees for as long as they can remember, with the likes of Virgil van Dijk’s Liverpool move and most recently Danny Ings’ summer exit.

The new owners and lead investor Dragan Solak will allow Saints better opportunity to move quickly in the transfer market as well as hoping to provide a solid and ambitious base to keep top performers.

But Hasenhuttl is under no illusion that, even with the improved circumstance, some key players will naturally come and go – admitting it is part of the role at a side like Saints.

Daily Echo: Danny Ings has scored four goals in 14 appearances this season (Pic: PA)Danny Ings has scored four goals in 14 appearances this season (Pic: PA)

Speaking after their 4-1 win over Brentford at St Mary’s, Hasenhuttl gave an honest account: “Yes it is tough if you lose players in the summer, it is tough if you lose your top goalscorer.

“But it takes time, this is the job you have to do when you want to be the manager of this club because it will happen in the future, this is normal in football and especially for us as a club.”

He continued: “In the end you keep on going and keep finding solutions, this is what we do every week with the time we spend creating gameplans, working with the players to improve them and showing them what they can do better.

Daily Echo: Ralph Hasenhuttl is developing a young squad at Saints (Pic: Stuart Martin)Ralph Hasenhuttl is developing a young squad at Saints (Pic: Stuart Martin)

“This, in the end, is giving you the reward for all the effort you put in and this is how it should be.”

Saints did well to secure captain James Ward-Prowse’s future at the club until 2026 with a brand-new five-year contract in the summer, warding off interest from Aston Villa.

The 27-year-old is hitting top form again, but meanwhile the likes of Tino Livramento, 19 – who has a reported expensive buy-back clause with Chelsea – and Mohammed Salisu, 22, are high-potential players.

A time may come where operations in the transfer market are required to replace such names, if an offer too good to turn down comes in.