Koeman: It will be hard to hang on to Nathaniel Clyne this summer
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman accepts it will be difficult to keep hold of Nathaniel Clyne this summer, but expects Jay Rodriguez to stay put.
An unparalleled summer talent drain led many onlookers to predict a meltdown at St Mary's, yet they have gone on to defy the odds and produce a remarkable season.
Saints are pushing for a top-four finish in the Premier League with six matches to go, although that success has led the vultures to once again circle overhead.
Clyne (above), out of contract next summer, is one such target and this week fuelled mounting speculation over a move to Manchester United by talking about his desire to play in the Champions League.
Koeman twice won the competition as a player and fully understands Clyne's ambitions, and therefore the difficulty Saints may face in getting him to stay.
"It's up to the press how they take those kind of comments," the Dutchman said ahead of tomorrow's clash at Stoke.
"I like to play Champions League as well but that's the aspiration for every football player and it's a normal aspiration. If you don't mention that, there's something wrong.
"We are still in talking with the agent of Clyney, but it's difficult. I read in the press there's some interest.
"Nobody knocked on the door with an offer for Clyne, but we know (he has) one season on his contract and we want Clyne to stay at the club. We need understanding for that but nothing else. We hope one day we will compare to the big ones, but that's difficult. We know our level, we know our possibilities."