Southampton manager Russell Martin has downplayed the chances of an exit for director of football Jason Wilcox, who is the subject of an approach from Manchester United.

United’s offer of 12 months salary in compensation has been rejected by Southampton, with Wilcox understood to have offered his resignation to the Saints in the hope of forcing through a move to Old Trafford.

Southampton are reported to be disappointed not only by the value of compensation offered, but also by the timing of United’s approach. Martin’s side are locked in a battle for promotion to the Premier League but suffered a huge blow on Monday evening with a late 3-2 defeat to title hopefuls Ipswich Town, after which the manager was in no mood to discuss Wilcox’s future.

“I’ve been hearing he’s going to leave for six weeks in the media, nothing’s changed,” Martin said. “I spoke to Jason this morning, we’ve had a game, I’m here to talk about the game, not about Jason.

“I’m sure at some point the club will be able to tell you, or I’ll be able to tell you what’s going on. Now I’ve just lost 3-2 in a game where we were fantastic and I don’t really want to be talking about it.

Jason WilcoxJason Wilcox

Wilcox hopes to become United’s new technical director / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

“I’m here to talk about the game, Jason’s been great for us, if he leaves, he leaves. I don’t know what’s going on. Let me be annoyed about the result for a bit first.”

Ben Jacobs adds that Southampton gave United permission to speak to Wilcox after making it clear that they would demand a significant compensation fee, with the Red Devils’ eventual offer of 12 months salary falling well short of expectations.

United are even said to have agreed to make a bigger offer before submitting their proposal, which club officials now insist is fair considering Wilcox only joined Southampton last summer.

As it stands, Southampton are not prepared to entertain United’s offer, meaning Wilcox will need to serve a 12-month notice period before he would be free to move to Old Trafford.

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