Transfer news: Nicola Cortese exit could spark £20m bidding war between Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United for Luke Shaw

Mauricio Pochettino and Rickie Lambert could leave too

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The Independent Football

The resignation of Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese could lead to a three way bidding war for Luke Shaw according to reports.

Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are all said to be interested in the highly-rated young left back who could command a figure of around £20m.

Meanwhile club owner Katharina Liebherr has assumed day to day running of the club although she may be faced with a hard battle in trying to persuade manager Mauricio Pochettino to remain at St Mary's.

The Argentine was described as being 'in shock' at the news of Cortese's departure, having previously said that his future at the club was very much aligned with the Italian who appointed him a year ago.

However Pochettino is expected to be in charge for Saturday's televised game with Sunderland.

The exit of Cortese has also increased the chances of offers being made for many of Southampton's stars, with their three England players, Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert all vulnerable, as well as players like Dejan Lovren and Morgan Schneiderlin.

Meanwhile Liebherr must now begin the search for a new chief executive.

“With great regret we have accepted the resignation of Mr Cortese,” said Katharina Liebherr.

“He has done a wonderful job at the club and we very much wanted him to stay. In the meantime, it is business as usual and we will ensure that the manager, the team and all the staff at the club have all the help and support they need.”