A HOST of Saints stars are about to enter the final two years of their south coast contracts.

Captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Player of the Year Nathan Redmond, Ryan Bertrand, Oriol Romeu and Sam Gallagher are the players nearing the period of renegotiation.

The final 24 months of a contract is normally the time where a club begins talks over the possibility of a new deal.

And given the profile of the Saints players who could end up leaving for nothing in 2021, it’s important the discussions get underway sooner rather than later.

Hojbjerg was handed the captaincy for the second half of the season and could become one of the Saints greats should he remain at St Mary’s for the foreseeable future.

Since joining the club in 2016 from Bayern Munich, the 24-year-old has moulded himself into the club’s heartbeat on the pitch.

Daily Echo: Pierre-Emile HojbjergPierre-Emile Hojbjerg

He wears his heart, as well as the captain’s armband, on his sleeve, which has endeared him to the St Mary’s crowd.

It’s almost inevitable that the bigger clubs will begin to take a look at Hojbjerg’s development and that’s what makes a new contract crucial.

Saints won’t want to be in a situation where the Danish international has attracted plenty of suitors with his deal nearing its end on the south coast.

The same can be said for Redmond – especially after the season he has just had.

Redmond scooped three Player of the Year awards, including the Daily Echo’s competition, after enjoying his best year with the club.

There is no doubt that it’s in Saints’ best interests to tie the 25-year-old down to a long-term deal.

He’s on an upward trajectory, he influences games on a consistent basis, and he still has age on his side.

From being booed by the St Mary’s crowd, Redmond has become the club’s most valuable asset.

Daily Echo: Nathan RedmondNathan Redmond

No one will forget the time he was given a talking to on the pitch by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.

And if Guardiola can recognise the winger as a good player, there will be plenty of other supporters too.

Gareth Southgate included him in the Three Lions squad for the upcoming Uefa Nations League semi-final against Holland on 6 June.

Should Redmond be given the chance in the tournament, he has the tools to make a name for himself on the international stage.

One of Saints’ players who knows what it’s like to play on the biggest stage is Bertrand.

The St Mary’s side signed Bertrand on a permanent deal in 2015, after he spent the season before on loan with the club.

Despite the fact that he couldn’t attract the same transfer fee that Hojbjerg or Redmond would, the defender hasn’t displayed any signs of slowing down.

Daily Echo: Ryan BertrandRyan Bertrand

A lot of Bertrand's negotiations will depend on what the defender wants to do.

At 29-years-old, he isn't getting any younger but would still attract several suitors due to his experience.

There was plenty of talk of him either heading back to Chelsea or signing for Manchester City a couple of years ago, but that failed to materialise.

Although Matt Targett has been waiting patiently for his chance to dislodge Bertrand, the Champions League winner remains Saints’ best option at left back.

His experience at the back could prove vital when Ralph Hasenhuttl starts working on perfecting his favoured 4-2-2-2 formation.

Romeu finds himself in a similar boat to Bertrand.

Mario Lemina is currently the biggest threat to his position in the starting XI.

However, when the Spaniard isn't on the pitch, it's clear to see that Saints miss his presence.

It wasn’t a surprise to see that, when he was on the bench for the dismal defeat to West Ham at the London Stadium, Hasenhuttl’s midfield was completely overrun.

Daily Echo: Oriol RomeuOriol Romeu

Romeu is so effective at breaking up the play, winning the ball back, and then passing it forward to a teammate.

As well as that, the 27-year-old absolutely loves it on the south coast.

Romeu revealed in an interview this year that whenever he leaves Winchester, he can’t wait to return.

This, coupled with the fact that the midfielder is the perfect professional on and off the pitch, should be enough to see him sign an extension.

It’s likely that Saints striker Gallagher is finding himself in an interesting conundrum over what to do next.

Injuries have prevented him from staking a starting spot in Saints’ side, having only made six appearances this season.

Gallagher has previously enjoyed loan spells with MK Dons, Blackburn and Birmingham.

Daily Echo: Sam GallagherSam Gallagher

The former Plymouth man is no longer a youngster either.

At 23, now is the time he would want to be a first team regular playing on a weekly basis.

And given Saints are in the market for an attacking player and have committed a sizeable chunk of money for Danny Ings, it’s unlikely Gallagher will force his way into Hasenhuttl’s starting XI.