RALPH Hasenhuttl has warned Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg that he won’t be Saints’ captain if he enters the final year of his contract.

Hojbjerg’s current deal runs out next summer and he is yet to state his desire to remain at St Mary’s.

Fellow Premier League sides Tottenham and Everton are said to be interested in the Danish international but are yet to make a formal approach.

And Hasenhuttl, who penned a new four-year contract at Saints on Tuesday, said he’d take the captaincy off Hojbjerg if the midfielder stays but doesn’t sign a new deal.

“It’s not good for him and I don’t think the situation would be good for him,” Saints’ boss told BBC Radio Solent.

“As a captain, you cannot lead a team without extending your contract. This is always difficult.

“We must look at what we have. I think we should avoid letting players go without a transfer fee. This is what we should avoid.

“It’s not good to go into the last year of your contract – especially as a young player with a big future.

“This is not the ideal situation, but we have opportunities to handle it and we will have talks with other players and find a decision.”