Southampton are determined to fight off the advances of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal to keep highly-rated youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has attracted Premier League interest since bursting to the fore at St Mary's this season, with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Liverpool director of football strategy Damien Comolli among those who have watched the 17-year-old extensively in recent weeks. A fee of upto £10 million has been mooted for the midfielder, but club chairman Nicola Cortese insists he is not interested in selling.
Newspaper reports on Friday morning claimed that Arsenal had agreed a £5 million fee for the young star, but it appears that the League One club are holding out for much more cash.
"Alex isn't going anywhere," Cortese said. "He's a great prospect for the future but not the transfer market. I don't think he would wish to be anywhere else."
The view was echoed by Saints manager Nigel Atkins, who denied any suggestions the club have decided a price at which they would be willing to sell Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has already scored six times this season.
"I am confident I can keep all my players here during the January transfer window," Atkins said. "There has been a lot of speculation about Alex and there will be throughout the transfer window. But Alex is our player and he's got a smile on his face, so we'll have to wait and see. But let me make it quite clear that Southampton have never put a price tag on anyone's head."