Saints Indicate Intentions For Next Season
Saturday, 8th Feb 2020 11:01
With the safe from relegation finishing line firmly within Saints sights, the club are now ready to start to think about next season and according to one of the club's preferred media outlets there is a lot of business to be done.
Saints are about to start the rebuilding for next season with the arrival of new Director Of Football Matt Crocker meaning things can now start in earnest.
According to the Telegraph first job is a new contract for Ralph Hasenhuttl whose current deal is due to run out in July 2021, Saints kept faith with the Austrian earlier in the season when things went a little pear shaped and they have always seen them as the man for the job and now they are about to recognise that by offering him a new deal.
Second task will be to decide who is staying and who is going, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg will have a year left on his deal in the summer and it is believed that there is a Gentleman's agreement in place for a new contract once Saints fate for next season is confirmed, certainly Hojbjerg indicated that he is happy to stay at the club if they are in the Premier League earlier in the week when he replied to a club tweet congratulating him on playing 100 Premier League games for the club, by saying "Here's to the next 100 let's get it done".
Shane Long is another and his contract is up in the summer, he has been a vital cog in our revival this season and he could well be offered another deal although it would likely to be only a 1 year extension.
But departures will be high on Saints agenda as they hope to try and rectify the mistakes of previous transfer windows, the Telegraph suggest that Wesley Hoedt, Mario Lemina, Guido Carrillo & Moussa Elyounoussi are four whom the club want to move on.
The problem has been the high salaries they are on and the length of the contract's, but with another year run down on them the club will hope they can get all four out on permanent transfers, although this may not be possible.
The club will hope that they will be able to get back some of the significant original outlay for these players, although a loss will be unavoidable, but the main job is to get some cash in and reduce the wage bill and free up money for new signings both in terms of fee's and wages.
Then comes the job of looking at the rest of the squad itself including others out on loan at the moment and this could see some former crowd favourites move on, both the club and Harrison Reed will now both accept that he will not make it at St Mary's and at 25 he needs to be finding a regular club.
That has proved difficult as he is on a higher salary at Saints than he can command elsewhere, so his preference has been loan deals with the hope that he might do enough to make the Saints manager sit up and take notice, but that hasn't happened, indeed in his career with Saints he has started only 6 Premier League games under a total of 6 different managers and his last start for the club came in December 2016 and since that game his only League action has been 5 mins as sub in April 2017, sadly his time at the club is up as is his contract and he will move on and best of luck to him for the future.
Fraser Forster is another who the club would be happy to see leave, but his contract still has two years left on it, but the hope is that a deal could be struck with a club where the transfer fee would allow Saints to effectively buy out the remainder of his contract and get his wages off the pay roll.
Other squad players who could be sold include Oriol Romeu, Jannik Vestergaard and Sofiane Boufal.
The aim for Saints is simple, to trim the squad, therefore raising some transfer funds and getting wages off of the books to enable them to bring in players in key areas.
The feeling is that the squad is top heavy in some departments and short in others, going forward we are a top ten side but defensively we are bottom 2 perhaps even Championship, even after all of the above players that we want to move on have gone we will still have a strong squad, we now just need to bring in 2 maybe 3 players in those key areas.
The club has made mistakes over the past three years, but those in charge who sanctioned those mistakes are now gone, things are not perfect in the corridors of St Mary's but they are getting better and the arrival of Matt Crocker will bring in a new direction and some focus.
If the club can do all of these things then the future can be bright and then the next job for the club will be to re engage with the Saints supporters, the relationship being at an all time low.
Photo: Action Images
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