Southampton pair Ryan Bertrand and Oriol Romeu are set to stay for another season under Ralph Hasenhuttl and are in talks for a contract extension at the club.
Bertrand remains the only senior left-back at the club with Jake Vokins the only other alternate, but the youngster has just made his way into the first team. The 30-year-old Bertrand joined the Saints back in 2014, and signed a permanent contract with them on a £10m transfer fee in 2015. The ex-Chelsea defender’s contract is set to expire next season, and Southampton are desperate to renew the contract of their most experienced players.
Bertrand has been a leader in the Southampton dressing room, guiding the younger players towards the first team.
At 30, he still has a couple of years at the top level and Southampton are very eager to keep the Englishman at St. Mary’s.
Romeu was earlier linked to a move away from the South coast in the winter transfer window. Reports suggested that Celta Vigo from the LaLiga were after the Spaniard, but Southampton refused to let go of the midfielder. Romeu however confirmed that he was committed to the club and wished to stay and fight for a place under Hasenhuttl.
“There were rumours but that was just talk. The club always told me that they want me here and I am more than happy to be here. I want to be competing for a spot in the team because I’m ready to go.”
“We have some good moments to come until the end of the season because the team is doing very well. The team has a good dynamic and that’s something you want to be part of. You always want to be involved.”
The manager preferred a Saints midfield consisting of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Ward-Prowse for most of the season, but Romeu got some minutes after the injuries to the clubs right-backs forced Ward-Prowse to play there instead.
Hasenhuttl too heaped praise on the professionalism of Romeu, “Especially with him it’s always a pleasure for me and always easy because he’s a character that knows how important he is even if not playing. As I said, one of the best professionals I’ve ever worked with as long as I’m a manager.”
“This is very, very positive for me. It’s not always possible for me to explain to everybody why he doesn’t play. It’s impossible for me because I must use half of the time to explain to everybody. I only have 20 players [in a matchday squad] and 10 are not playing.”
Club captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is the centre of serious interest from several Premier clubs, and since he has only one year on his contract, the club may be forced to sell the midfielder for cheap. It is therefore imperative that the club renew the contracts of their senior most players.
The current Covid-19 pandemic has weakened the finances of most clubs across Europe and Southampton will want to keep the duo and renew their contracts since they cannot afford to sign new players.