Chris Ison/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Chris Ison/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The futures of six first team players at Southampton, including captain Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw, have been plunged into doubt by the resignation of club chairman Nicola Cortese.

Saints owner Katharina Liebherr has taken over the day-to-day running of the club, sparking fears that manager Mauricio Pochettino could quit St Mary’s too.

This in turn may encourage Premier League heavyweights to table bids for talented Southampton players like Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin, Jay Rodriguez, Dejan Lovren and Lallana – according to the Telegraph. Striker Rickie Lambert meanwhile remains a top target for West Ham boss Sam Allardyce.

Left back Shaw, 18, is the Saints’ prized asset with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all chasing his signature. Blues boss Jose Mourinho may even use the out of favour Ryan Bertrand as a makeweight in any deal. Southampton would thus get a replacement for the £20 million rated Shaw.

Speculation is also mounting that the Hammers tabled a £7 million bid for 31-year-old England centre forward Lambert which the Saints have accepted. Skipper Lallana, 24, meanwhile has been linked with Manchester United.

Pochettino’s young Southampton side have impressed this season and currently sit ninth in the Premier League. Liebherr has no experience of working in football, but it is understood she wants to appoint a new chief executive.

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This article was first posted on January 16, 2014