Negotiations between Southampton and Ronald Koeman over a new contract are progressing “very positively”, according to the club’s executive director of football Les Reed.
Koeman led the Saints to a sixth-place finish and a club-record points tally in the 2015-16 Premier League season, leading to speculation rivals such as Everton may try to lure the Dutchman away from St Mary’s Stadium.
The former Ajax and Feyenoord boss has just one year left on the deal he signed when taking over from Mauricio Pochettino in June 2014, but Reed is optimistic he will put pen to paper sooner rather than later.
“Talks are ongoing all the time, and there is never really a point where you can say ‘on this day we’ll start talking’,” he told Southampton’s Youtube channel.
“Conversations go on all the time about planning for the future. Ronald has mentioned recently that he’s sat down with us at board level and talked about the five-year plan.
“There’s no point going into contract negotiations about finance and money unless you’re all on the same wavelength about where the club is going.
“If Ronald is committing himself to the club for a longer period of time, it’s important we talk about our ambitions being aligned and that we are still trying to achieve the same things.
“We’re now at a point, as Ronald has said himself, where we’re actually getting down to the detail of the contract, which is where agents and lawyers get involved.
“Everything is going very positively at the moment.”
Key players such as Virgil van Dijk, James Ward-Prowse and Fraser Forster have all agreed fresh terms in recent weeks, and Reed says plans are in place to bring new faces to the south coast.
“Ronald and I have been talking for a long time about building towards the summer transfer window,” he added.
“You can see that with the extension of contracts to our own players to consolidate the core of the team going forward. That is another big step.
“You don’t just do that on any given day, that’s something I would sit down with Ronald and Ross Wilson (director of scouting and recruitment) to discuss over a long period of time.
“All those conversations are about the future and what we’re building for.”