1. ITV Report

Southampton's player exodus prompts internet jokes

Adam Lallana is among the high-profile names to leave the club this summer. Credit: PA

After the sale of £100 million-worth of players and departure of a highly-rated manager, Southampton fans can be forgiven for feeling slightly pessimistic about the start of the Premier League season.

But rival fans have shown little sympathy on social media, with many poking fun at the club's summer of upheaval and speculating as to who could be sold next - with Betty the tea lady apparently a reported target.

Southampton's summer of departures began when manager Mauricio Pochettino left for Tottenham Hotspur, after successfully guiding the Saints to an eight-place finish in last season's Premier League.

They have since sold left-back Luke Shaw to Manchester United for £27 million, and lost Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert to Liverpool for for £25 million and £4 million respectively.

Academy graduate Luke Shaw left the club in a £27 million deal with Manchester United. Credit: @ManUtd
Adam Lallana joined Liverpool in a £25 million deal. Credit: @LFC
Rickie Lambert secured a move to his boyhood club after five years at Southampton. Credit: @LFC

Worryingly for Southampton fans, the exodus looks set to continue with other first team players also set to leave the club.

Croatian defender Dejan Lovren is thought to be close to joining his former team mates at Anfield in a £20 million deal.

Dejan Lovren is reportedly on the verge of joining former team mates Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert at Liverpool. Credit: PA Wire

Young right-back Callum Chambers is reportedly close to joining Arsenal for £16 million.

The future of French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is uncertain with potential suitors including Pochettino's new club Tottenham circling.

Dutchman Ronald Koeman has had a challenging start to his time at Southampton. Credit: PA Wire

Despite the upheaval, the South Coast club have already reinvested the funds with the signings of Serbian winger Dusan Tadic and Italian striker Granziano Pelle.

New manager Ronald Koeman has vowed to continue strengthening the squad in what will be a huge rebuilding job this summer.

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