Saints manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed that the club have offered Jack Cork a new contract.

The midfielder is due to become a free agent in the summer, but Koeman made it clear last month that he wished to keep him.

Koeman confirmed today that negotiations with the 25-year-old and his representative had begun, and that the club were now waiting for an answer.

“He can stay,” said Koeman. “The board of the club is talking to him and to his agent.

“We have offered a contract and Jack Cork by himself has to say yes or no.”

Koeman also revealed that Cork has returned from the ankle injury he suffered in the 1-0 defeat away to Arsenal in early December, meaning he could be in the squad for Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford.

Nathaniel Clyne is also expected to be fit again, after a few weeks out with a foot injury, while new signing Eljero Elia could make his debut.