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Southampton boss clears the air on Everton loanee exit rumours

Southampton boss clears the air on Everton loanee exit rumours

Southampton manager Russell Martin has rubbished talks surrounding the transfer of Everton loanee Mason Holgate to Sheffield United this month.

Rumours had emerged that the 27-year-old travelled to Bramall Lane for medical examinations ahead of a six-month loan, but the move broke down over Everton demanding a loan payment.

Holgate has been on loan at Saint Mary’s Stadium since the start of the season, but speculation is rife over his long-term future amid a lack of playing time.

The Englishman has been handed just 290 minutes of first-team football at Southampton, leading to talks of a potential Everton recall, but nothing has materialised yet.

While Martin has previously admitted that Holgate could return to Everton this month, the manager has poured cold water on reports that Holgate had travelled to United for medical.

“No, he was training with us,” Martin said (via The Star). “Other than that, I don’t know. He trained with us, so that is all the clarity you need.

“If he got to the hotel with us and managed to find his way to Sheffield and back in time, he has done very well. No, he was here with us, he was in the squad. 

“He is probably pretty annoyed he has not played as much as he has. But he is a great character, really good with the group, vocal in the right way, and has a lot of fun. 

“There is a week or whatever there is left of silly season. We will see where he is after that.” 

Holgate has been linked with a move to United since last summer, and the Blades appear to have rekindled their interest in the former West Bromwich Albion loanee.

Everton have not decided whether or not to recall Holgate, but United could make their move for the versatile defender this month amid their search for defensive cover.

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