Saints reject Lambert speculation
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins insists star striker Rickie Lambert will not be sold in the January transfer window.
Premier League rivals Stoke have been linked with a move for the forward but Adkins has revealed the club have not received any enquiries regarding Lambert.
The striker started on the bench last week as Saints slumped to a disappointing 4-1 defeat at West Ham, leading to speculation he could be set for a January exit.
However, Adkins has moved swiftly to reject the rumours and has stressed that Lambert is a vital member of his Saints squad.
"I am not aware of an enquiry and we wouldn't consider (selling him),'' Adkins is quoted as saying on ESPN. "He is one of the main reasons why we have got back to the Premier League.
"We love the bones of him. He works very hard. It is my responsibility to pick the team, whether Rickie is in that team or coming off the bench to make an impact as he did against Manchester City.
"Rickie Lambert is a good football player. I'm sure anyone who sees him not in the starting XI will might wonder: 'what's happening there? We might show a bit of interest'. That's football."