Tying Ronald Koeman down to a new contract must be Southampton’s “number one priority” in the close-season, according to club legend Matt Le Tissier.
Koeman has impressed since taking over from Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the 2014-15 campaign, with the Saints still in with a chance of qualifying for the Europa League for the second season in a row.
The Dutchman’s current deal expires in a little over 12 months’ time, with chairman Ralph Krueger saying earlier this month that talks over fresh terms were progressing well.
And Le Tissier has urged the St Mary’s hierarchy to finalise those negotiations sooner rather than later.
He told the Daily Echo: “The number one priority for me is to tie the manager down on a new contract.
“I hope we get an announcement soon but for me looking at it the squad’s pretty well balanced.
“The most important thing is tying the manager down and letting him strengthen the departments he sees fit.”
Le Tissier went on to say that Koeman is key to Southampton avoiding another exodus of their best players, following the departures of the likes of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin and Nathaniel Clyne over the last two years.
“I guess he’d [Koeman] want some assurances from the club that there’s money for investment,” the former England international continued.
“I’m sure with the new TV deal coming in there will be funds available for him and just that the club match his own ambitions. That’s the be-all end-all really.
“If we get the manager tied down and we get a couple of players in to strengthen, we’ve got the nucleus of a very good side as we’ve proved again with another top-half finish.
“It would be nice to spend in the summer and not see all our better players leave and having to fill in and go again.
“It would be nice to a have solid base to start from this time.”
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