Ralph Hasenhüttl has agreed to extend his stay at Southampton until 2024, with a new four-year contract set to be announced on Tuesday.
The 52-year-old former RB Leipzig manager helped the club avoid relegation after succeeding Mark Hughes two and a half years ago and has made a big impression on Southampton’s hierarchy.
Hasenhüttl committing his future to the club comes eight months on from a 9-0 trouncing at home to Leicester City, after which the chief executive, Martin Semmens, made a point of reassuring the manager. Sir Alex Ferguson also sent Hasenhüttl an uplifting message following that harrowing defeat.
That result left Southampton in the relegation zone with eight points from 10 matches but Hasenhüttl galvanised the squad and they are 14th, seven points above the relegation zone with nine matches remaining before the Premier League’s proposed restart on 17 June.
Informal talks have been ongoing for months and only now has Hasenhüttl set aside a reluctance to agree a new contract before the club’s top-flight status has been secured.
Hasenhüttl has proved a popular appointment, re-energising Southampton with a front-foot style of play, as well as placing faith in several youngsters, including the academy graduates Yan Valery, Michael Obafemi and Will Smallbone, who got his league debut in February.