SAINTS academy starlets Harrison Miles and Alejandro Gomes Rodriguez have exercised their right to talk to other clubs this month.

The duo, who will both be 16 by the end of this week, are on early scholarships at Saints giving the club some negotiation power.

However, like many players across the country, they are now free to discuss moves to other academies before making a final decision.

Players in England are unable to officially sign professional contracts - which fully protect their value for the owner club - until they are 17 years old.

Should Miles and Gomes Rodriguez decide to depart Saints, Saints will attempt to agree a fee with their new clubs.

English champions Manchester City approached Miles on Monday evening. There is currently no agreement between the clubs on a release fee. 

Saints agreed a fee when Jimmy Jay Morgan exited for Chelsea in February 2023, with Saints pocketing an undisclosed total.

If they are unable to agree on a fee for the transfer of their registration, the decision on compensation will go to a tribunal.

This situation is exampled by the transfers of Sam Amo-Ameyaw and Jayden Meghoma, who left Tottenham Hotspur for Saints in 2022.

Saints retain seven-figure valuations on Miles and Gomes Rodriguez, who are both England youth internationals.

Gomes Rodriguez's dual nationality - he also represents Portugal and Venezuela internationally - means he could move across borders.

This would mean Saints would receive minimal compensation for his departure as they would not be protected by the FA framework.

Brexit has meant clubs in England can no longer sign players under the age of 18 years old, with a big impact on youth recruitment.

Top clubs keen to invest in their academy now find it harder to look abroad and will instead poach the best domestic talents at a higher rate.

Saints had made offers to retain Miles and Gomes Rodriguez but are at an impasse on salary demands, which they feel to be unreasonable.

Southampton’s latest intake of scholars celebrated their achievements at their official signing-on day on Friday.