Southampton left-back Luke Shaw could play for any team in the world, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Speculation over Shaw's future intensified on Thursday when media reports linked the 18-year-old with a potential switch to Real Madrid.
Chelsea and Manchester United are also thought to be admirers of the England international, who could significantly boost his value if he features at this year's FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
And Pochettino did not play down Shaw's talent or ability when quizzed about the Real reports in his news conference ahead of Saturday's home match against Newcastle United.
He said: "He can play at Real Madrid or in the world starting 11. He has the quality to do so."
Shaw has belied his age to start in 28 of Southampton's 31 Premier League matches this season.
Pochettino's contract situation is also noteworthy, with the Argentinian said to be unhappy with Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese's departure in January.
His future beyond this season is not known but he refused to give away any details.
"I'll repeat what I said exactly last week," he said. "Everything is calm and we are working to finish the season off as best as possible."
Southampton host Newcastle knowing they can move ahead of their opponents in the table with victory.
Pochettino is expecting a response from Newcastle though, with Alan Pardew's side beaten 3-0 at home by Everton on Tuesday.
"We're expecting quite a physical side, a very strong side, especially after being defeated at their home ground against Everton," he added.
"They will be wanting to put it right. We are expecting a very physical opponent."
Pochettino also revealed that Japan defender Maya Yoshida was sidelined for the next month, but still believes he will be fit for the World Cup.
"Maya has a problem with his knee ligaments, so we expect he'll be out for six weeks," he continued.
Southampton are also monitoring the fitness of defender Nathaniel Clyne, midfielder Steven Davis and forward Jay Rodriguez, who are battling knocks ahead of Saturday's fixture.
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Brondby and Slovan to protect handsome leads|
|Bentaleb pens new long-term deal at Tottenham|
|Barca agree Turan deal|
|FIFA bans Mayne-Nicholls|
|United States v Honduras: Klinsmann demands improvement ahead of Gold Cup opener|
|CONCACAF institutes extensive reforms in wake of FIFA corruption scandal|
|Mauri completes Milan move|
|City sign Turkey striker|
|Women´s World Cup final draws huge US TV ratings|
|My first Chelsea team better than current crop - Drogba|
|Bertrand set for lay-off after knee surgery|
|New five-year Juve deal for Marchisio|
|Allegri extends Juve contract|
|Koeman reiterates Alderweireld interest|
|Valencia bag Bakkali|
|New York City FC complete Pirlo capture|
|Panama v Haiti: Collat ready to challenge the best of CONCACAF|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Harrison eyes TNS progression|
|FIFA sanctions Yemen for fielding ineligible player|
|Toulouse rubbish Ben Yedder exit reports|
|Mourinho ´knows what he´s doing´ with Falcao signing|
|Watford shell out club-record fee for Capoue|
|Braafheid signs Lazio extension|
|Nani finalises Fenerbahce move|
|Liverpool confirm O´Driscoll appointment|
|Liverpool have to start better - Lucas|
|USA simply too good - Sasaki|
|Portland Timbers 1 San Jose Earthquakes 0: Jewsbury wins it in stoppage time|
|No move yet for Van Persie|
|Lloyd wins Golden Ball, Silver Boot awards|
|Mascherano: I never grabbed Banega|
|Dunga requested Brazil not appeal Neymar´s suspension|
|United States 5 Japan 2: Lloyd stars with hat-trick|
|Fiorentina deny Inter criticism|
|Nani relishing Fenerbahce opportunity|
|Newcastle hold talks over Northampton youngster|
|Cuadrado´s agent plays down Chelsea exit rumours|
|Liverpool´s Alberto set for Deportivo loan|
|Leverkusen suffer surprise defeat, Stuttgart hit six|
|Inter ´dismayed´ at Fiorentina vice-president´s Salah Twitter outburst|
|Blaszczykowski ruled out of Dortmund´s Asia tour|
|Gerrard gets the beers in for LA Galaxy fans|
|De Gea coy over Real links|
|Former Brazil star Carlos handed Delhi reins|
|Ciftci will not push through Celtic switch – agent|
|In-demand Mitrovic considering Roma offer|
|Lehmann calls on Cech to ´get over´ Chelsea|
|Marlos double sinks Monaco|
|Mauritius 0 South Africa 2 (agg 0-5): Bafana set up Angola qualifier|
|Keane relishing Gerrard arrival|
|Palace confirm Cabaye interest|
|Hamburg bring in Spahic after head-butt ban|
|Blatter hits out at France and Germany over World Cup votes|
|Sanchez: World Cup exit spurred Chile to Copa glory|
|Jojic makes Cologne switch, Santana move falls through|
|Carrillo keen to get going at Monaco|
|Micronesia thrashed 38-0 as Fiji triumph in Olympic qualifier|
|Schalke stunned by ´machine´ Caicara|
|MLS Review: Keane shines at Gerrard´s Galaxy unveiling|
|Counter-attacking the key for Japan|
|Jimenez happy at Atletico|
|Gerrard predicts ´successful future´ with Galaxy|
|Iniesta can´t see Real selling Ramos|
|Keshi sacked as Nigeria coach|
|Three finals, three defeats for Messi, Mascherano|
|Nani close to Fenerbahce move|
|Sampaoli revels in ´unbelievable joy´|
|Bravo: Copa victory a dream|
|Martino: Argentina should have won|
|Chile 0 Argentina 0 (4-1 on penalties): Hosts end trophy drought|
|Germany 0 England 1 (after extra time): England make World Cup history|