Saints will not consider a new contract for Graziano Pelle until the summer.
The striker will be turning 32 at the time his current deal expires in 18 months, and due to his age Ronald Koeman says Saints will not rush into a hasty decision.
Saints are understood to be trying to get Victor Wanyama, who also has 18 months left to run on his contract, to sign a new deal, but the midfielder is only 24.
Pelle has been linked with a move back to Italy after a prolific time at Saints, in which he has scored 25 goals for the club in one and a half seasons.
While Koeman will not entertain selling Pelle during this window, he admitted Saints need to continually assess older players before handing out long term deals.
He said: “Ok, the situation of Graziano is a little bit different than other players because Graziano will be 31 and 32 at the end of next year and that’s difficult.
“It’s too early to conclude about his future.
“I know it’s left one season on the contract but it’s too early now to talk about his future.
“Maybe in the summer, after the summer.”
There is little doubt that Pelle remains an important player for Saints still as it stands, and could even get a recall for today’s against West Brom.
However, while Saints will not want to let emotion get in the way when it comes to the business of deciding on new contracts, they also won’t sell early either with Juventus having been linked with a move for Pelle.
“Graziano is totally involved in Southampton,” insisted Koeman.
“Of course I read also the newspapers and what happens on the internet but that’s your business, my business is to prepare the team for today.
“Graziano is a player for Southampton.”
He added: “We like to keep every good player in the team and 31 is a good age to still play on your level.
“He had some physical problems with his knee in the last few weeks but it’s going better and it’s important he is coming back and scoring and being the important player what he was before.”
Koeman says that Pelle’s main focus remains on getting back into the team and winning games, but that he is not afraid to discuss the futures of players with them whenever the needs arises.
“I talk to the players on a daily basis and of course it’s not always about the game what we have to play but the whole situation,” admitted Koeman.
“Still everybody who is playing and training for Southampton is focussed for the team and that’s the most important.”