Saints have tabled a contract offer to Mauricio Pochettino in a bid to prevent him leaving the club this summer.

Pochettino is a prime candidate for the Tottenham job and has continually said he wishes to put off talks over his future until the end of the season.

Behind the scenes, though,discussions are believed to have taken place already and the Daily Echo understands that Saints have indeed offered what they believe to be a very generous new deal.

There has been an increasing sense of unease at St Mary’s in recent weeks about whether Pochettino will stay, with the manager having just one year left on his current contract and Spurs said to be circling for him.

Pochettino himself has confirmed that he intends to hold talks with the club’s board today.

Up for discussion will be the future direction of the club and funding for new signings, the verdict on which could have a major impact on the futures of several star players who are linked with moves elsewhere, as well as the manager himself.

Pochettino said: “We are going to sit down on Monday and we are going to talk.

“This is basically the end of a five season project that started with Markus Liebherr buying this football club and appointing Nicola Cortese as the chairman.

“This five year project is now coming to an end and we achieved what we wanted in this five year project to take the club from League One to the Premier League.

“Now a new project has to start.”

When it was put to him that what he said may suggest he was off, he replied: “I haven’t said that. I said that this club now deserves to begin a new project.

“This club deserves to begin a new project and the club has to decide how that happens and whether that’s a two, three, four or five year project.

“It’s always the case that that happens.

“That’s all I’ve said.”

Pochettino was asked what he would like to hear from the club’s board and said: “I just hope we can sit down to talk and let’s see what happens.”

It’s been a great season for Saints who set their highest top flight points total for 29 years thanks to the draw with United.

“I think as a manager the thing that makes me the most proud is the way we have played throughout the entire season, the way we have achieved the eighth place that we have achieved this season,” reflected Pochettino.

“Also to make the players participate in a football philosophy and that as a manager makes me very proud.”

Inevitably talk is of the future and the Saints boss confirmed: “I want to just say that I still have one more year on my contract left and it’s only normal that these rumours are going to start cropping up.

“It’s only normal that these rumours are going to start happening with myself and players.

“We know the exact rules and how everything works in the country but I just want to say that I have one more year left on my contract.”