Southampton striker Shane Long is set to be offered a contract extension in order to ward off interest from Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Irishman has had an impressive season with the Saints under Ronald Koeman and has attracted interest from a few top clubs in England. Liverpool and Spurs are reportedly interested in signing the Southampton striker, according to the Mirror.
The 29-year-old has found the net 13 times this season for Southampton, making him an integral part of the squad if they are to mount another challenge for Europe next season. Southampton have planned to offer Shane Long a new contract to ward off interest from the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was even seen in the stands sitting with the agent of Shane Long during Republic of Ireland’s 1-1 draw against the Netherlands.
The striker, who has two years left on his contract, was one of the first signings Ronald Koeman made as Southampton manager. However, the future of the striker is likely to be decided after the European Championships in France as he holds a key role in the performance of the Republic of Ireland in the tournament. Having earned 62 caps for his national team, Long is one of the most experienced players in the Ireland squad and is set to compete for the first time in a major international tournament.
It is also known that Liverpool have also been monitoring Shane Long closely since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp. Based on the positive relations between Southampton and Liverpool in recent years, Liverpool would certainly hold an edge over any other potential suitors if Shane Long wanted to leave the Saints.
Key to Saints success next season is retention of players
Meanwhile, Southampton prepare to face a long and hard battle to keep their key players and manager tied to the club for the next season. The Saints have already successfully extended contracts of some of their key players and are also in the process of trying to convince Ronald Koeman that their club is the one he should commit his long-term future to.
As for Shane Long, the striker could see his game time reduced at Anfield thanks to competition from the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and even Roberto Firmino, but the potential benefits of playing under Jurgen Klopp would make it worth the risk. At Southampton, he is likely to get more regular playing time, but at the age of 29, not making the move this summer could scupper his chances of playing for a ‘big’ club in the Premier League.
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