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Southampton boss unhappy with Man Utd over Van Gaal

Koeman makes his feeling known about the way Van Gaal was treated. Credit: PA

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has criticised the way Man United handled the dismissal of Louis van Gaal.

Hours after the Red Devils lifted the FA Cup trophy at Wembley, it emerged they would be dismissing their manager following months of endless speculation about his future.

Despite rumours of secret talks between the club and Jose Mourinho's representatives, Van Gaal was reportedly kept in the dark about United's plans to replace him in the summer.

Mourinho has since been confirmed as Van Gaal's replacement in the Old Trafford hotseat and speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Koeman explained:

I have watched the process around Louis and Jose Mourinho from a distance. For months we were all reading that Mourinho was busy with Manchester United. If Louis was not told about getting the sack until after the FA Cup Final, then Manchester United as a club don’t deserve a medal for the way they treated him.

If you know a little bit about the business at the highest level in football, then you know that these kind of deals are not done over night. But Louis has been put under tremendous pressure for months. This is why I admire the way he kept his dignity.

Of course, he had a number of run-ins with the media and there were moments when I thought ‘Louis, you could have dealt with that in another way.’ But Louis is Louis. But looking at the incredible pressure all around him, I think he did a great job winning a big trophy like the FA Cup.

– Ronald Koeman speaking to the Sunday Mirror

Southampton confirm trio to leave the club

Ramirez was frozen out by current boss Koeman. Credit: PA

Southampton have confirmed the departure of £12million midfielder Gaston Ramirez.

The Uruguay international was a club-record signing for Saints in 2012 but started just 28 matches in four years at St Mary's.

Ramirez was frozen out by current boss Ronald Koeman and spent last term on loan with Hull before ending the current season at Middlesbrough.

Newly-promoted Boro are understood to be keen on signing the 25-year-old permanently after he scored seven goals in 15 Championship starts.

Veteran goalkeeper Kelvin Davis is also out of contract but is in talks over a new role behind the scenes at the club.

The 39-year-old joined Saints when they were a League One club in 2006 and had a testimonial last week.

Young goalkeeper Will Britt, who suffered with injuries during the 2015/16 campaign having made six Under-21 appearances the previous season, has also left the club.

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Southampton duo pen new long-term deals

Fraser Forster and James Ward-Prowse are staying put. Credit: PA

Fraser Forster and James Ward-Prowse have signed new long-term deals with Southampton, the Premier League club have confirmed.

England international Forster has penned a deal that will keep him at St Mary's until 2021, while Ward-Prowse will stay for another six years.

I'm delighted. It's been another good year for the club and I think there's real ambition around the place and it's good to be a part of it, so to commit and sign a new deal is unbelievable and I'm just looking forward to getting stated again.

Every player wants to keep moving forward in their career and for me especially I'm very ambitious, and I think at this club there is that real ambition and desire to keep moving forward and improve year-in, year-out.

If you look at just last week with Virgil signing his new deal, that was obviously positive news and after last year and then this year it's obvious things are moving forward and hopefully we can keep doing that in the future.

– Fraser Forster

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Southampton defender pens new six-year contract

Virgil van Dijk has committed his long-term future to Southampton. Credit: PA

Defender Virgil van Dijk has signed a new six-year deal at Southampton.

The 24-year-old Holland international has impressed at the heart of the Saints defence this season having arrived at St Mary's from Celtic in September 2015.

Manager Ronald Koeman spoke on Friday of his desire to keep hold of his star players this summer, so Van Dijk's new long-term contract will come as a major boost.

The deal runs until 2022 and executive director of football Les Reed said:

In his first year with the club, Virgil has quickly established himself as one of the top centre-backs in the Premier League, becoming an integral part of what has been another strong season for the team.

At 24, and with significant European experience already under his belt, we believe he can be a key pillar in our squad for years to come and we are delighted to have agreed this new deal with him.

Although Virgil only joined us in September we felt it was important to strengthen our commitment and we believe this also provides further indication of how serious our ambitions are for the coming years.

– Southampton executive director of football Les Reed
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