Saints dismiss Villa bid
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Southampton have refuted reports they have received a bid from Aston Villa for Kevin Phillips.
Weekend transfer speculation had suggested Villa had switched their St Mary's targets after missing out on the signing of James Beattie.
Villa were rumoured to have had an offer of £4 million for Phillips rejected by their Premiership rivals.
But Saints chairman Rupert Lowe has scotched talk of another bid from the Midlands club and he does not want to field any interest in the club's leading scorer.
"We have not had a bid from Villa for Kevin Phillips," Lowe told the club's official website.
"We have not had an enquiry or an offer of any kind and we are not looking to sell him."
In addition to keeping Phillips at St Mary's, Lowe has also vowed to hang on to the services of Finland international Antti Niemi.
The goalkeeper intimated over the weekend that he would be prepared to speak to Arsenal or Manchester United if they made an offer but Lowe affirmed there have been no enquiries for Niemi.
"I saw the story supposedly linking Antti Niemi with a move to Manchester United but I gather he has knocked that back," added Lowe.
"We have not had any kind of enquiry for him from Manchester United or Arsenal or anyone else.
"He is a key member of our team and we are not looking to sell him."
The likes of Junior Agogo, Nicola Legrottaglie and Danijel Ljuboja have all been linked with moves to St Mary's but Lowe ruled out this troika as possible arrivals.
Lowe continued: "We are looking to bring in more players, possibly even this week but there is no truth in any of those stories."