Hasenhuttl encourages Hojbjerg to pen Saints extension
Ralph Hasenhuttl says Southampton are keen to show how important Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is to the team by tying him down to an improved contract.
Saints have been working on securing the futures of their first-team stars recently, with Nathan Redmond putting pen to paper on a four-year contract last month.
The next target would appear to be Hojbjerg, who has entered the final two years of his existing contract at St Mary’s.
The former Bayern Munich midfielder is a key figure in Hasenhuttl’s team, starting three out of four matches in the Premier League this term, while he also played the full 90 minutes in the EFL Cup win at Fulham.
His importance to the Austrian tactician marks a stark contrast to his role under previous managers, with Mauricio Pellegrino having often left him out of his matchday squads entirely.
Having initially struggled to settle on the playing front at Southampton, Hojbjerg has managed to raise his game and the south-coast outfit are keen to avoid him running down his contract and attracting interest from elsewhere.
The club reportedly received enquiries over Hojbjerg’s availability during the summer but they were quickly knocked back.
The Denmark international has hinted he would be willing to sign a contract extension with the Saints although he also claims he’s in no rush to make a decision on his long-term future.
Hasenhuttl has now encouraged him get his representatives to engage in negotiations in order to get a new deal sorted out quickly.
Hasenhuttl told the Daily Echo: “We are always in contact with his agent and Pierre knows about his important role for this club.
“He is the captain of the team and is always the player I have many conversations with. His opinion is important to me also.”
At the age of 24, Hojbjerg’s best days lie ahead of him and Hasenhuttl has previously stated his ambition is to build his Saints squad around a young core of players.
As well as tying down Redmond this summer, the club also secured the future of 20-year-old right-back Yan Valery earlier in the year, while the summer additions of Che Adams and Moussa Djenepo have lowered the average age of the squad.
Chris Rivers is an experienced reporter who closely follows both Arsenal and Wales Rugby Union team. As well as in-depth football and rugby knowledge, Chris is an avid American Football, Formula One and boxing fan.