Victor Wanyama’s future at St Mary’s is far from certain after Southampton manager Ronald Koeman refused to confirm whether the midfielder would return to the starting line-up on Saturday.
Wanyama is free to play against West Brom in the Premier League this weekend after serving a two-match suspension, but faces a battle to regain his spot in the side.
The 24-year-old Kenya international – out of contract in 18 months – is reportedly set to consider his future in May amid interest from Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Koeman was asked whether Wanyama would return to the team following Oriol Romeu’s performance against Watford midweek and the Dutchman said: “As always, I will tell the players before the press, but we have real competition in the squad.
“He is okay. He was suspended, did his training sessions and is a player of Southampton.
“I don’t speak about rumours every day in the press, because it’s not necessary to tell everybody the same answer.”
Koeman, though, did express his determination to retain Italian striker Graziano Pelle, who has been linked with Serie A champions Juventus.
“He is totally involved in Southampton and I read also the newspapers, but that’s your business, my business is to prepare the team and Graziano is a Southampton player,” he added.
As for £12million flop Gaston Ramirez, who arrived in 2012, he is set to leave the club in January.
“He’s ending his contract and is not in the plans for the future of the club,” said Koeman.