RALPH Hasenhuttl reportedly blocked a loan-move for veteran striker Shane Long, with the Irishman’s former club West Brom looking for striker cover.

The Baggies’ marquee signing Daryl Dike picked up an eight-week long injury in just his second game, leaving the West Midlands club scrambling for short-term replacement.

They came knocking at Saints’ door for ex-Baggies hitman Long, only to be rebuffed by Hasenhuttl, according to reports by The Athletic.

It marks a revival in stature at the club for Long, with the striker sent to neighbours AFC Bournemouth last January on a six-month loan.

Hasenhuttl previously spoke about how important to have players like Long around the side was, stating: "Yes, sure he can help them and I am very happy to have him in my squad.

“Definitely, he is important for them.

“What he can do best is definitely work with his effort, his professionalism with the young lads. He is a good role model I think, one of the good role models we have in our team.

"Because I think the clear message, especially for an experienced player is that they have to accept the different role they have when they are getting older.

“I was playing until I was 37 years old and, especially in my last years, I was very often only a joker and helped the team when they needed me for 10 or 15 minutes.

“This is the job you have to do then. This time will come for everybody who plays long because it is normal situation in every club that the older players are stepping back and that the job is done from the young ones.

“They still have an important role to play in a club, in a team, in a dressing room – to be positive with us, to support everybody and this is a job he does perfectly."

After being told no by Saints, West Brom have looked elsewhere – with the Championship side set to finalise the signing of Andy Carroll, after his contract with reading expired earlier this month.