Ronald Koeman not ready to discuss new Southampton contract
Ronald Koeman has denied reports he is close to extending his contract as Southampton manager and insisted he does not expect to do so at least until the summer.
Koeman has 18 months remaining on his present deal, which began in the summer of 2014 when he agreed to succeed Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino, and has impressed in difficult circumstances during his time at the club.
It had been reported that Southampton, who Koeman has impressively led since Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert and Calum Chambers followed Pochettino out the door in 2014, were ready to offer the Dutchman a new contract but on Friday he was adamant that is not the case.
"It's too early to discuss that," said Koeman, who remains the subject of speculation surrounding his chances of managing the struggling Holland national team.
"I had several meetings with the board in the last two weeks but not about my contract.
"I don't think it's the right moment to talk about it. There's still a long time to go. Maybe something for after the summer, not this season."
Southampton on Sunday host Manchester United, who are managed by fellow Dutchman Louis van Gaal in the Premier League.
Sunday's fixture also represents the first return to St Mary's of midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, who left Southampton for United for £25million in the summer having also pursued a transfer elsewhere a year earlier.
The two episodes will likely have done little to endear him to the club's fans, but Koeman said: "I hope the reaction to him is a positive one.
"He did everything for the club, he had a great time in Southampton, he was ready for the next step.
"I think we have to receive the player like we normally do with other players. How the fans react to Rickie Lambert is what you expect of fans receiving those who did everything for the club in a very positive way I hope.
"It's difficult always to say that it's not possible to leave the club, but to tell him twice is impossible. We had a very good relationship after the difficult summer that we had at the club, his reaction was fantastic, he had a big part in a big season last year and it's best for him and for the player, that's the important thing.
"He's now a player for Manchester United and I wish him the best, but not on Sunday."