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The Southampton stalwart, who is almost certain to be part of Roy Hodgson's England World Cup squad, has hinted at his desire to test himself at a higher level

By George Ankers at St Mary's Stadium

Southampton captain Adam Lallana admits that he wants the chance to play Champions League football, with Liverpool among the teams chasing his signature.

The attacking midfielder, who has risen from the club’s youth academy to England recognition this season, is among several Saints players attracting attention this summer. One, Luke Shaw, is expected to join Manchester United.

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In the match programme for Southampton’s final match of the season, against the Red Devils, Lallana stressed his gratitude for his deep connection to the fans but hinted that the possibility of the squad being broken up by moves elsewhere might make him chase his dream.

“Every fan would realise that there's big potential in our team and we have players who can go and play at a higher level,” he remarked. “We proved that when there were 16 of our lads away on international duty.

"I'm certainly ambitious. I want to one day play in the Champions League and compete for the Premier League title but I still feel like I'm the same guy I was when we were playing in League One and the Championship.”

The England international was named the club’s Player of the Season by both his team-mates and fans, something which stirred plenty of emotion in the skipper.

“Getting the fans’ award was the icing on the cake because I’ve had a great relationship with them for the last seven-or-eight years,” Lallana added. “I’m almost lost for words when I speak about it because it makes me feel really proud.

“I got emotional because it’s been a journey that I couldn’t have even dreamed of but I’m not saying that this is the end by any means.

“Obviously, with how well the club and its players have done, there are going to be some decisions to make in the summer and maybe it all hit home a little bit when I was speaking [at the club’s awards dinner].

“How far we’ve come in a short space of time is beyond anyone’s belief. We’ve won our league, in our eyes, with where we’ve finished.

“We’re now in a position where we have to sit down as a club and decide what is best and what’s the right route to take because we want to be a stable club – that’s the main thing. We want to be competing in the Premier League for the next four-or-five years and forever longer.”

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