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Koeman wants special end to Southampton season

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman believes his team will turn a good season into a "special" one if they hold off Swansea and secure qualification for the Europa League.

The Saints are in danger of slipping out of the European spots after a run of just one win in six matches, which has left them clinging on to seventh place in the Premier League table.

Ronald Koeman is keen to qualify for Europe. Credit: PA

"If we win, we will have a good possibility to achieve the sixth or the seventh position in the table and that makes the season a special one in my opinion," Koeman said.

"It's always difficult because if someone offered me a paper in pre-season to finish eighth or seventh in the table, I would have asked, 'where can I sign that paper?'

"But, of course, the feeling in the last part of the season is also important and, of course, you have to look back to the whole season. "It will be a good season for Southampton but if we don't reach the sixth or seventh position, you end the season with a little bit of a different feeling."

Man United target close to agreeing new Saints deal

Southampton are confident Nathaniel Clyne will sign a new contract "sooner rather than later" after a change of agent allowed talks to accelerate with the defender, according to executive director of football Les Reed.

Clyne is a target for Man United. Credit: PA

Saints are eager to strike an agreement with Clyne, whose current contract expires at the end of next season and is reportedly a summer transfer target for Manchester United.

Manager Ronald Koeman last month gave the 24-year-old 10 days to make a decision on his future and while that deadline has now passed, Reed says a new agent has seen talks progress:

I'm in discussions with his agent and those have been very, very positive. There's bound to be a lot of speculation because he's such a good player and has had such a good season so we have to balance that against what he can do for us in the future and what we can do for him.

We're at a very good place at the moment in terms of the discussions going on and I'm confident again that we will have a resolution to that sooner rather than later.

– Southampton executive director of football Les Reed

Video: Meet the Southampton FC 'colour psychologist'

Southampton's media team have approached the club's new kit launch with the same impressive creativity they have benefited from on the pitch in recent years.

The #showyourstripes campaign features colour psychologist Dr Barry Gale as he starts work as Southampton's Player Integration Officer.

One of Gale's many rib-tickling musings include:

"What I'll be using here is something I like to call a Player's Integrated Stripes Strategy. Now that's a bit of a mouthful so let's just all call it P***"

The mini mocumentary sees the likes of Jose Fonte, James Ward-Prowse, Maya Yoshida and Jay Rodriguez spend time with Dr Gale in order to learn crucial techniques for integrating the red and white stripes of the new kit into their everyday lives.


Man United target Clyne opens talks with Saints

Clyne may well stay at Southampton. Credit: PA

Nathaniel Clyne's deadline to give Southampton a decision on his future has passed, but Press Association Sport understands contract negotiations have reopened to keep him at St Mary's.

Speculation about the right-back has ramped up in recent months, with Manchester United strongly linked with a summer move for England international.

The fact Clyne is out of contract next summer has fueled talk and Saints manager Ronald Koeman has repeatedly underlined the importance of knowing whether he would sign a new and improved deal or not.

Executive director Les Reed planned to sit down with the full-back after Saturday's defeat to Leicester and it appears there is a chance he could yet stay on the south coast.

Koeman expects Rodriguez to stay at Southampton

Ronald Koeman is confident Jay Rodriguez will soon sign a new and improved contract at Southampton.

A ruptured anterior cruciate ligament means it has been over a year since the 25-year-old last played, but that has not prevented speculation mounting over his future.

Rodriguez only has a season left on his contract and there have been suggestions that a summer move could be on the cards, with Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool apparently ready to test Saints' resolve.

Jay Rodriguez has missed the entire season through injury. Credit: PA

However, the England international now seems ready to pen a new deal at St Mary's, with Koeman rating the chances of the forward signing as eight out of 10.

"He was talking to the club," the Saints boss said. "He's a good player and I think he will be an important player for next season.

"If he stays, I think that is a good signal to the club, to everybody."

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