Nathan Tella quizzed about his Southampton future amid Burnley speculation
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The 24-year-old helped Russell Martin’s side to a 2-1 win against Sheffield Wednesday during their first game of the Championship season on Friday night.
Tella thought he had given the Saints the lead when his long-range strike flew into the far corner, but the goal was eventually credited to striker Adam Armstrong after the ball took a slight deflection off his head.
Nevertheless, the former Burnley loan star was happy to get off the mark with an assist in his first game back for his parent club.
Speculation has continuously swirled since the end of last season that Tella could return to Turf Moor on a permanent basis, after firing in 19 goals on Burnley’s way to the Championship title.
But when asked if his long-term future remains at St Mary’s Stadium, Tella gave very little away with his response.
“Honestly, I’m just focusing on the next game,” he told Sky Sports.
“I just want to take it game by game and see what happens.”
It comes after Burnley chairman Alan Pace caused something of a stir last week by sharing a “Free Nathan Tella” video created by his daughter.
Ashlyn Pace-Ferguson posted a TikTok video which calls for Tella to be “freed” from his current club Southampton.
The video, accompanied by The Specials’ Free Nelson Mandela track, sees Ashlyn pin up a number of posters in and around the club’s Turf Moor stadium.
Tella is pictured on the poster alongside the words: “Missing! Last seen smiling - Burnley. Responds to ‘Nathan Tella baby’. Have you seen him?”
The video ends with the caption: “Come Home Tella” and was also shared on Instagram by Clarets chairman and Ashley’s Dad Alan.
Tella isn’t the only Saints player being linked with a move away this summer, with the likes of James Ward-Prowse, Romeo Lavia and Che Adams also courting strong interest.
Speaking recently, Saints boss Martin – who recently made the move to the South Coast from Swansea City – conceded it’s likely some of his players could start the season at St Mary’s only to seal moves elsewhere before the transfer deadline.
He told talkSPORT: “I’m sure we will end up playing a few games with players that will probably end up going.
“I hope that’s not the case, but you have to be honest with the situation and we are really prepared for that and really ready for that. Hopefully, we can keep hold of a few that are attracting real interest.
“A few might have to go to help us get a few in that we also really want to help us. We just have to wait and see. I can’t control that, all I can control is coaching them.
“A lot of the players with a lot of noise around them have been really brilliant and a lot of them are young men so it’s not easy with the noise around them so it’s to their credit.”