Southampton defender Chris Baird has handed in a transfer request after becoming frustrated at his club’s refusal to allow him to join Fulham.

Saints rejected a £2.5m offer from the Whites for the 25 year-old defender last week, which was described as ‘derisory’ by boss George Burley. Baird is keen to link up with his former Northern Ireland international manager Lawrie Sanchez at Craven Cottage and views asking for a transfer as a way of trying to accelerate progress towards a positive resolution.

Southampton issued a short statement, saying: “We have received a transfer request from Chris Baird. There is no further comment at this stage.”

The versatile Baird has two years to run on his current deal, but Saints could be tempted to cash in one of their prized away as the Premier League parachute payments end at the end of this season. They may try and spark a bidding war between Baird’s suitors by offering the defender to a number of top flight clubs.