Definitive answer on whether Southampton superstars at heart of mega-money bids will play at Sheffield Wednesday

Southampton manager Russell Martin has answered questions on whether two of Southampton’s big-name players will play against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday as they sit at the heart of high-profile, big-money transfer sagas.
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The Saints will arrive at Hillsborough ahead of the curtain-raiser to the EFL season - with both sides having played in different divisions last season and going through a transitional period under new managers.

Wednesday will line-up under the management of Xisco, who has promised Owls fans an attractive, attacking style of play, while in joining the St Marys club from Swansea City in the summer, 37-year-old Saints boss Russell Martin will be keen to offer the same.

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As is often the case when a club is relegated from the Premier League, Southampton are in the midst of a squad overhaul.

Defender Mohammed Salisu has move on to AS Monaco this week and speculation hangs over two important midfielders at the centre of megabucks transfer negotiations heading towards the new Premier League campaign.

Talented 19-year-old Belgian international Romeo Lavia has been the subject of a £41m bid from Liverpool, who see him as a player who could make an impact in a midfield light on options after the departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho to the Saudi Pro League.

According to reports, Southampton are holding out for £50m and the Merseyside club are sounding-out alternative options.

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Another Saints midfielder sat in limbo is talisman James Ward-Prowse, who is of major interest to West Ham United.

The England international set-piece specialist, though a reported bid of £20m was knocked back with Southampton valuing him closer to £40m. A second bid was also rejected and there are conflicting reports as to the current status of the deal, with some outlets claiming the Hammers have walked away from negotiations.

Saints boss Martin said: “Both will be involved tomorrow night as things stand. I don’t know if anything will change between now and tomorrow night.

“Do I think both will be Southampton players by the end of the window? I haven’t got a clue. What I hope and what I think are probably very different.

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“If they’re both not here at some point, or one of them isn’t, it’ll be because the club and player will both have had something that is benficial for everyone. I think that is why it has dragged on for so long so far.

“I think it will continue to drag on. But both of them, while, they’ve been here, have been great. They’re at very different stages of their career.”

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