SINTS manager Russell Martin has not spoken to Stuart Armstrong about extending his contract with the club.
Armstrong is one of four Southampton players who have signed the final six months of their contract, along with Che Adams, Alex McCarthy and Joe Lumley.
The 31-year-old said he enjoyed playing under Martin after a difficult period under several coaches.
Martin played down his role in the Scot’s signing, saying his job was to make the players “feel like they belong together”.
Asked if Armstrong would like to stay at Southampton until the end of the season, Martin replied: “I think so.”
“There will be many more conversations this month. I try to stay away from things like that. The conversations I have with Stu are to see if he’s okay.”
“I see if he likes it, what he needs more from us, and if he needs less. I love talking to Stu.”
“My job is to make the players feel like they are part of what they love and that they can be the best versions of themselves on the field.”
“I think Stewie has helped us a lot and I’m very proud of him, no matter where he was at the beginning of the season and where he is now.”
“It took him a lot of effort to get there after a difficult year or two.”
Martin continued: “If he doesn’t come to me and say he’s unhappy with the situation or wants it to change, then we’ll continue with him and give each other everything.”
“I have a very good relationship with the players and they will be honest if they feel certain things. The same goes for Che. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
Selling Adams in January would give the Saints some money and prevent him from leaving for free in the summer unless he signs a new contract.
However, it will mean they will lose their second leading scorer this season, with Kamaldeen Sulemana, Sam Edozie and Ross Stewart all out injured.
“It depends on how you look at it,” Martin said when asked whether it would be cheaper to keep Adams than to find a replacement.
“If someone comes and offers Che really good money and you turn him down because there are six months left on his contract, it could be quite costly.”
“It depends on the ownership group and Jason. I can express my opinion about things. And this is also Che’s great merit.”
“It was a mistake to take Che out of the team against Norwich. He was in such a good position. He scored two of the two goals. It was my fault and I told him so.”
“He played very well when he came on the field. He’s great, he looks free, he plays with a lot of energy, he shoots from everywhere and presses like an animal.”
“As long as he gives us this, everything will be fine.”
Author: George Rees-Julian
Source: Daily Echo