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Championship runners-up ready to refurbish squad with £10 million of new talent after achieving promotion to the top flight for next season

EXCLUSIVE
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Southampton have placed Blackburn Rovers striker Yakubu and Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore at the top of their summer shopping list, Goal.com can reveal.

The Championship runners-up are also targeting West Brom's Simon Cox and Blackpool's Matt Phillips as they prepare for their return to the Premier League after a seven-year absence.

Goal.com understands that manager Nigel Adkins will have a summer kitty of around £10 million to bring in new blood.

He has identified centre-forward, central midfield and wide midfield as the key positions that require improving. Adkins is also expected to search for central defensive reinforcements over the close season.

FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE
Team

1. Reading (c)
2. So'ton
........................
3. West Ham
4. Birmingham
5. Blackpool
6. Cardiff

Played


46
46
...........
46
46
46
46


Points

89
88
...........
86
76
75
75

GD

+28
+39
.......
+33
+27
+20
+13
Although Rickie Lambert topped the Championship scoring charts with 27 league goals and 31 in all competitions, the Saints recognise they need more firepower in the top flight.

As revealed by Goal.com last month, Southampton face competition from Reading to sign Yakubu, who is set to leave Ewood Park at the end of the season if Blackburn are relegated after weighing in with 16 league goals, a top-flight haul bettered only by Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero.

Cox has been forced down the West Brom pecking order by Peter Odemwingie and Shane Long, starting just 10 games this season, but Southampton believe he can still be effective in the Premier League.

Livermore has featured in 37 matches for Tottenham this season but he has started only 19 of them and just six in the league. The 22-year-old’s defensive midfield skills are highly rated by Spurs but, with Tom Huddlestone set to return next season, the Londoners would be willing to sell for the right price.

Winger Phillips has been instrumental in Blackpool’s climb to the Championship play-offs since kick-starting his career with an impressive loan spell at Sheffield United last autumn.

The 21-year-old contributed just a single goal to Blackpool’s 2010-11 campaign but he has weighed in with 11 since December as well as six during his loan spell at Bramall Lane.

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