Nicola Cortese urges Southampton to keep Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw

Former Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese believes that it is important for the club to keep hold of Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw.

Former Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese has insisted that it is vital for the club to keep hold of their star players.

Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw have reportedly attracted bids from Liverpool and Manchester United respectively following the close of the 2013-14 Premier League season on May 11.

However, Cortese, who left his role in January, has claimed that he did not receive any indication that players wanted to leave during his time at St Mary's.

"We created those talents," Cortese told BBC Sport. "It was key to keep them. You don't produce them just to sell, otherwise you give away your ambition.

"I was confident about plenty of conversations I had with the players. I knew the players themselves wanted to stick together because this vision was something they believed in, too. I didn't see any reason for them to go."

The future of manager Mauricio Pochettino also remains up in the air following reported interest from Tottenham Hotspur.

Luke Shaw of Southampton holds off Chris Smalling of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary's Stadium on May 11, 2014
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