Report: Southampton readying Hasenhuttl extension
According to a report by Sam Wallace of The Telegraph, Southampton expects Ralph Hasenhuttl to sign a new contract soon and buy in to the long-term plan of the club.
The club is still a decent way from securing safety in the Premier League, but relegation at this point seems like a disaster-only scenario with the club sitting in 13th on 31 points, seven points clear of the relegation zone. Still, it seems like by Wallace’s report that Hasenhuttl is ready to commit to the club despite the small bit of uncertainty.
[ MORE: Raheem Sterling out “weeks” with injury ]
The Austrian boss joined Southampton from RB Leipzig in December of 2018 and signed a contract through the summer of 2021. His capture was hailed as a coup by many with Southampton in the relegation zone and its future far from certain, but he guided the club to safety with a 16th place finish last season.
There was significant noise surrounding Hasenhuttl’s job security after the brutal 9-0 defeat to Leicester City back in October, part of an eight-game Premier League winless run that threatened to doom the club, but he was given faith and rewarded his bosses with a renewed energy in league play. Since the November international break, Southampton has lost just four times in 13 matches, earning 23 points and grabbing positive results against Chelsea and Tottenham plus revenge over Leicester City with an emotional 2-1 victory.
Wallace’s report states that an extension was in the works earlier this season, but after the heavy defeat to Leicester City, the Austrian himself decided to put talks on hold to right the ship. Now that things appear much steadier on the field, the club expects talks with Hasenhuttl to resume. Nothing is likely to be imminent in the immediate future, with Hasenhuttl and much of the club on February break, but there appears to be a feeling that he is ready to commit his future to the Saints.
While the 52-year-old theoretically could have used the club as a stepping stone given his success at achieving safety last season and the presumption of the same this campaign, the difficult October stretch seems to have knocked him down a peg and could be grateful to still have employment at Southampton, a loyalty he could pay back to the club with a new contract.