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Southampton open dialouge with Ronald Koeman over contract extension

Southampton have reportedly opened dialogue with Ronald Koeman over extending the Saints boss' contract.

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According to The Telegraph, Southampton have opened dialogue with Ronald Koeman over extending the Dutchman's contract at St. Mary's.

The former Feyenoord boss joined Southampton at the beginning of the 2014/15 campaign and penned a three year contract with the south coast club as Mauricio Pochettino's replacement.

With the former Barcelona player entering his final year of contract in the summer, the Southampton board are keen to keep hold of the 53-year-old beyond the end of next season. It has been reported that the Southampton hierarchy have proposed their five-year plan to Koeman in a bid to keep hold of the Saints boss.

During the season, speculation in the press has linked Koeman to the Chelsea job after Jose Mourinho's dismissal and Guus Hiddink only taking the Chelsea job on a short term basis. However, despite dismissing the claims, those associated with Southampton will be pleased with the rumours that Italy boss Antonio Conte will take over at Stamford Bridge and this news that Saints chiefs have made their move to keep hold of the Dutch boss.

In October at the Southampton Fans Forum hosted by BBC Radio Solent, Ronald Koeman was asked about his contract situation and future with the club.

When asked what it would take for him to stay beyond his contracted three years, Koeman said he would need to "be happy as I am now. That means to work with a great club, good people, to develop the team and still to have the belief to go on.

"It's my second season. It's too early to take decisions about that. The ambition is continue and even make it better in how we play and try to achieve what we did last year."

Koeman has also been backed financially by the board to recruit and develop the squad. Southampton fought off competition in the winter window to sign QPR striker Charlie Austin, a transfer that Koeman admitted highlighted the ambition that would be key to him staying on as Saints manager.

However, as Koeman has repeated on numerous occasions, anything formal and concrete about extending his stay at Southampton would not take place during the season. Jeremy Wilson's article goes on to indicate that more formal talks about Koeman's future would take place in the summer.