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Southampton manager Claude Puel has revealed striker Charlie Austin is likely to need surgery on a dislocated shoulder and could be out for between three to four months.
Austin was substituted during the first half of Saints' 1-1 draw with Hapel Be'er in the Europa League on Thursday with what Puel said was a dislocated shoulder.
Southampton edged past Middlesbrough 1-0 without Austin on Sunday and after the match, Puel said the striker is likely to need an operation.
Normally he needs surgery and will be perhaps between three months and four months (out).
It's a good estimation for the time after the surgery. Is it dislocated? Yes I think. Will it need surgery? Yes, normally yes.
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Southampton manager Claude Puel dismissed claims that contract talks with defender Jose Fonte may distract his side ahead of Thursday's pivotal Europa League clash against Hapoel Be'er Sheva.
The Saints skipper has been linked with Everton and Man United this week, as speculation surrounding his future intensifies.
Those rumours heightened further on Tuesday when Fonte took to his Instagram account to state that he has been informed by Southampton that he will not be offered a new contract.
But Puel insists their attention must stay on their Europa League hopes rather than the personal situation of the Portugal international.
When asked if the club had begun negotiations over an improved deal, he said:
It's a situation and discussion between the player and the club. I cannot give a comment about this. When I see this on newspaper I repeat the most important thing for me is to speak about the team and about the game tomorrow and not just this personal situation, an individual situation.
It's important always for me to respect the collective. The subject for me is to discuss and to speak about the game, an important game, and about the collective and the team.
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Southampton academy graduate Sam McQueen has signed a new four-year-deal.
The 21-year-old, who made his Premier League debut in the Saints' 3-1 win over Burnley in October, will remain at the club until 2021.
"It feels really good, as you'd expect," the left-back told the club's official website. "I'm delighted to sign a new deal with the club, having been here for so long already.
"It has been years and years of hard work to get to this point. I'm really happy to be out on the pitch playing games for the first team.
"The last couple of months have been amazing for me and this new contract really just rounds that off. Now it's important that I keep working hard and make as much of an impression as I can."
Executive director of football Les Reed added: "We've been delighted with the way in which Sam has developed in recent months, becoming an important part of Claude Puel's first-team squad."
McQueen made his first-team debut for the Saints in 2014 before a loan spell at Southend during the second half of last season.
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