Adkins steps up wing efforts
Southampton have reportedly stepped up their efforts to sign Blackpool winger Matt Phillips with a £6million offer.
The Saints have been heavily linked with a swoop for the 21-year-old after he enjoyed a successful campaign in the Championship last term with 18 goals to his name as the Tangerines lost out to West Ham in the play-off final at Wembley in May. And, while Blackpool boss Ian Holloway hit out at an unnamed club - widely reported to be the Saints - for illegally 'tapping up' Phillips, it appears the St Mary's outfit are firming up their interest in the player and are set to make a big-money bid. Saints boss Nigel Adkins, who is still looking to bolster his squad ahead of the club's return to Premier League action at Manchester City this weekend, insisted on Monday that they had not made an illegal approach for Phillips and would be looking to hold talks with Bloomfied Road officials on the matter. He told the club's website: "I don't think there is any hiding from the fact that Matt is a player that we have been an admirer of for the past few years, and I think in the last couple of weeks he has probably been identified as a target for a number of teams in the Premier League. "I know that from the chairman's point of view he has been in contact with the Blackpool chairman and that we have had a conversation with their chief executive, and I have spoken to Ian Holloway myself, so it's not as if there has not been an interest demonstrated from Southampton. "As I have said, we like to think that we do everything properly, by the book and we will continue to do our matters privately and behind the scenes."