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"Multiple offers" made for Saints squad members

Southampton Football Club has confirmed it has received "multiple offers" for some of its players in recent weeks. It described the bids as "confirmation of the depth of the development that is ongoing in our academy and of the present standing of our first team within the Premier League."

But it said it not need to accept any offers that had been made for transferring players - with the exception of Rickie Lambert.

We are staying true to our plan and vision and, as a result, we have no need to accept any offers. We are deep in the process of appointing a new manager who will continue to move our club forward. It remains our preference not to partake in any transfers until the new manager is in place. Our scouting & recruitment department continues to monitor targets we have identified to improve our squad, and the new manager will have final input into our recruitment process."

– Southampton FC statement

Regarding Rickie Lambert's transfer to Liverpool, the club said it was the right move for the player and for the club.

There may be circumstances under which the club will feel it is right for a player to move on. Those circumstances have to be right for the club and the player. This is the case with Rickie’s move to Liverpool.

When Rickie Lambert requested to leave for Liverpool, the club felt it could not stand in the way of having him fulfil his boyhood dream of playing at home. It will be a big challenge to replace him and our intention is to source a quality replacement who will fill his shoes now but also for many years to come."

– Southampton FC statement

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Saints player a 'step closer' to move to Merseyside

Southampton and England striker Rickie Lambert Credit: PA Images

Southampton and England striker Rickie Lambert appears a step closer to completing a move to Liverpool after undergoing a medical on Merseyside.

The Anfield club are understood to have agreed a £4 million deal for the 32-year-old, who was once on their books as an academy player.

Liverpool are thought to be keen to complete a deal before Lambert heads to England's pre-World Cup training camp in the United States on Sunday.

Lambert told Sky Sports News: "The medical went well but as you know I can't say anything."I'll speak properly about it, hopefully, very shortly.

"It's been a crazy football year to be honest, the way it's carrying on."

Lambert was asked if he had spoken to Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard about the move while with him on England duty over the past week.

He said: "I've spoken to Stevie a while ago, but I'll speak properly on Monday."

News of Lambert's impending move to his boyhood club came as a surprise when it emerged on Thursday evening.

Lambert was released by Liverpool at the age of 15 in 1997 and was later shown the door by Blackpool after moving to the Lancashire club as a trainee.

He did eventually turn professional and played in the lower divisions with Macclesfield, Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers before finally flourishing at Southampton.

Having helped Saints to two promotions and then impressing in the Premier League, he admits he will leave St Mary's with a heavy heart.

He said: "There's lots of emotions as you can imagine so it's something I need to address and obviously I will address all parties when I get the chance."

Liverpool are also understood to have made an improved offer of £25 million for Lambert's Southampton team-mate Adam Lallana after having an initial £20 million bid rejected.

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Rickie Lambert celebrates England call-up

Rickie Lambert (left) celebrates after scoring against Chelsea Credit: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert has been included in the England squad to face Scotland at Wembley next week. Lambert, 31, is called up for the first time. Manager Roy Hodgson has also included Wayne Rooney despite his shoulder injury.

Lambert began his professional career with Blackpool in 1998 at the age of 16. He played in the lower divisions before joining Saints from Bristol Rovers.

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