RALPH Hasenhuttl has reiterated his decision to wait until Saints reach 36 points before discussing a new deal with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

The skipper will have just one year left on his current contract when the season ends and is yet to put pen to paper and sign the one that’s been offered to him.

But Hasenhuttl believes both club and player are relaxed about the situation and talks will become more serious once Premier League safety is in the bag.

Saints’ boss said: “No news on this because there’s no speaking of any contracts before we have 36 points.

“It was a good decision to do this because the main thing is playing better and investing more. The rest will come.

“He enjoys playing in the team at the moment, he sees we’re in a good way and as a captain, he’s responsible also.

“An important message for him also is that he sees we’re going in a clear direction as a club which is important for him.”

There was last month late interest in Hojbjerg’s services from Tottenham although Saints made it clear the 24-year-old wouldn’t be going anywhere.

The midfielder pays a keen interest to what goes on behind the scenes at St Mary’s and wants to see the south coast side move in the right direction.

Hasenhuttl believes the interest shown in the former Bayern Munich player is a good indicator that his team are playing well.

But also claimed Hojbjerg will be more focused on his output on the pitch rather than a new contract.

He added: “In general, it shows that we play better. Otherwise, they wouldn’t look at our players. They weren’t looking when we lost 9-0 at home!

“It’s a good thing that our players are more interesting for other clubs.

“We don’t have to be scared that we lose them, they really know what they have here and what they get from us.

“Focusing on their performance is more important.”

Hasenhuttl also paid tribute to his captain’s work ethic and desire to improve day in, day out as the reason behind his improved form in central midfield.

“If you’re the professional he is and like to work hard on the pitch and improve every part of his game it’s normal that he enjoys,” continued Saints’ manager.

“We’re a hardworking club and this must be our image in the future. A player like this enjoys investing a lot and this is what we want.”