Hasenhuttl plays down Southampton star’s exit talk with simple message


Ralph Hasenhuttl is unconcerned about speculation linking defender Jannik Vestergaard to Tottenham and will do “everything” to keep him at Southampton.

Vestergaard, 28, looks set to be targeted by Jose Mourinho in the summer transfer window. His name was mentioned in connection with the north Londoners last month, prompting a reaction from the Denmark international. Compatriot Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg moved to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last summer.

And Vestergaard said that, while it is nice to have his ego massaged, his focus remains on Southampton.

“I can only say that of course it’s always a pat on the back with stories of interest from other big clubs,” he told Tipsbladet. “But right now I have a contract with Southampton so, it’s not something I can talk about.”

Reports of Spurs’ interest resurfaced earlier this week. Inter Milan star Milan Skriniar remains their top target but Vestergaard is an alternative.

Hasenhuttl has now responded to the rumours. Vestergaard has been in discussions over a possible contract extension at St Mary’s.

His current deal expires in 2022 and Hasenhuttl insists his priority is to keep the Dane on the south coast.

“It’s nothing new for our players that do a good job for us this season, that they are on the list for some bigger clubs,” he told reporters.

West Brom v Southampton Match Preview, April 12, 2021

West Brom v Southampton Match Preview, April 12, 2021

A look ahead to the Premier League game between West Brom and Southampton, including stats on form, possession, shots, cards, corners, top scorers and previous meetings.

“You can be sure that this player has a contract for Southampton and for as long as he has this he is our player. We will do everything to keep him here and to protect him for everything.”

Hasenhuttl urges Saints focus

Southampton travel to the Hawthorns on Monday to face struggling West Brom. While not yet mathematically safe from the threat of relegation, they are 10 points above the drop zone and should be fine.

Survival in the Premier League is clearly paramount but they are still alive in the FA Cup. The Austrian’s charges face Leicester City in the semi-finals at Wembley on April 18.

It would be easy for his men to ease off against the Baggies to ensure they are fit for the weekend. But Hasenhuttl believes that could be counterproductive and insists his players will be up for the Albion encounter.

“This game is six days later and as a player you know that you hurt yourself more and injure yourself more when you’re not 100 per cent on the pitch,” he added. “If you are not 100 per cent on the pitch there is a bigger danger of injury.”

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