Southampton WILL NOT sell Shane Long to Liverpool

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Long won't be sold to Liverpool this month
Long won't be sold to Liverpool this month

Southampton have no intention of selling Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long this month, a source has told the Sunday World.

Long has been linked with a move to Liverpool and Tottenham in recent days, with Southampton's deal to sign Charlie Austin from QPR yesterday sparking suggestions that Long could be on his way out.

Yet our Sunday World back page carries the confirmation that Long will not be off-loaded by Saints this month, as they aim to hang on to all their top stars until the summer at least.

Saints boss Ronald Koeman has hinted that his Italian striker Graziano Pelle is the player who will be leaving Southampton following Austin's arrival, with the 30-year-old stalling on a new contract and hinting he wants to move back to his homeland.

“The situation of Graziano is a little bit different than other players because Graziano will be 31 and 32 at the end of next year and that’s difficult,” says Koeman.

“It’s too early to conclude about his future. I know it’s left one season on the contract but it’s too early now to talk about his future.

"We have signed Charlie Austin now, but he is not here to replace anyone. Not Shane, not anyone.

"In the summer you never know what happens, but the message is clear. No player leaves in this transfer window."

Juventus and Lazio have been linked with a move for Pelle in recent days, but it seems as if he will have to wait until next summer to secure a move back to Italy after Koeman's latest statement.