Ronald Koeman is confident Jay Rodriguez will soon sign a new and improved contract at Southampton.
A ruptured anterior cruciate ligament means it has been over a year since the 25-year-old last played, but that has not prevented speculation mounting over his future.
Rodriguez only has a season left on his contract and there have been suggestions that a summer move could be on the cards, with Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool apparently ready to test Saints’ resolve.
However, the England international now seems ready to pen a new deal at St Mary’s, with Koeman rating the chances of the forward signing as eight out of 10.
“He was talking to the club,” the Saints boss said.
“He’s a good player and I think he will be an important player for next season.
“If he stays, I think that is a good signal to the club, to everybody.”
Rodriguez is not the only high-profile player out of contract next summer, with right-back Nathaniel Clyne the subject of even more fervent speculation.
Koeman last week gave the England full-back a 10-day deadline to inform the club whether he would sign a new deal and talks are planned after Saturday’s trip to Leicester.
“We like to know it because always with players that have one season of their contract left, that is business,” the Dutchman said of the Manchester United target.
“We are nice people, straight people at the club but we have to think of the future of the club and team.”
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