Date:Sunday February 4 2007
Southampton chairman Michael Wilde has finally spoken out about the January transfer window and the Gareth Bale rumour saga.
After keeping quite all the way through last month, much to the Saints fans anger, Mr Wilde has spoken publicly in his programme notes for Southampton`s home game Vs Derby County :-
"Now that the transfer window is closed - a blessed relief to all of us - I think it is appropriate for me to comment. As a board we kept quite during the January transfer window because there were all ready to many headlines being written, particularly about Gareth Bale. In keeping with our football first philosophy, we promised he would still be a Southampton player for the rest of the season and we have kept that promise
Of course there was interest. That is only natural as he is such a talented young player but we did not solicit any bids and we made it crystal clear to every team that enquired that the player would remain at Southampton for the 18 months remaining on his contract. We firmly believe Gareth would be better off here for the remainder of this season and next for the sake of his own development and we would be delighted if his representatives would sit down and discuss a new contract.
The transfer window is a difficult time, putting unnecessary pressure on clubs. It is all about keeping cool and getting the right person and not just buying for the sake of it. George Burley was quite adamant that he would only bring in players that he needs. We signed a lot of players over the summer and it took time for them to gel - although we are now seeing the benefits of that.
We did not want to bring in a rush of players again who might throw things out of kilter because we do not have time to bed in a lot of new arrivals . With injuries, there is always the possibility that we may need to get in an emergency loan when that window re-opens next week but generally George is happy with his squad when everyone is fit."
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