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New Southampton board looking to offload five senior first-team players as part of summer overhaul

Jeremy Wilson
There looks like being plenty of upheaval at Southampton this summer - Getty Images Europe

Southampton’s new executive board are looking to offload at least five senior first-team players and are targeting a striker, centre-back and wing-back as part of a summer overhaul of Ralph Hassenhuttl’s squad.

As reported by Telegraph Sport in April, Martin Semmens has now formally stepped up to the position of chief executive and will head up the day-to-day running of the club alongside managing director Toby Steele and Ross Wilson, who leads the football operations in close partnership with Hassenhuttl.

Majority owner Jisheng Gao has today also become chairman following Ralph Krueger’s departure two months ago, while former majority owner Katharina Liebherr has returned to the football board and Nelly Gao has joined Semmens in becoming a vice-chair of the club.

The current transfer focus following the £14million signing of winger Moussa Djenepo is a striker and the club have offered a deal worth around £14m for Birmingham’s Che Adams.

This has not been accepted and, with Birmingham caretaker coach Pep Clotet currently assessing his squad following the sacking of Garry Monk, Southampton are now considering alternative options. Hassenhuttl’s other priorities are at centre-back as well as adding further strength and versatility among his choices at full-back or wing-back.

Southampton are also ready to let one of their goalkeepers - either Fraser Forster or Alex McCarthy - leave and are open to offers for Wesley Hoedt, Cedric Soares, Guido Carrillo and Sofiane Boufal as they try to generate further funds and flexibility within their wage structure.

A club spokesperson stressed that the boardroom changes would ensure continuity following significant upheaval last season with the departures of Krueger, Les Reed and Mark Hughes. “The management team and operations remain unchanged and the club is looking forward with new focus and determination to a successful season,” said a club spokesperson.