Irish striker Shane Long is expected to sign a new contract at Southampton before the end of the season after his impressive campaign at St Mary’s.
Long’s current deal at the club expires at the end of this season but according to a report from the Southern Daily Echo, the striker is set to be rewarded with an extension.
The 33-year-old has recently been a key part of Southampton’s turnaround in the last few months under Ralph Hassenhuttl striking up a strong partnership with the prolific Danny Ings.
He recently netted in Southampton’s games against Tottenham in the FA Cup and Wolves in the Premier League with his form catching the eye of Irish manager Mick McCarthy.
A mixture of injuries and a lack of game time have meant that Long is yet to feature for Ireland under McCarthy with his last appearance for the Boys in Green coming in October of 2018.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, McCarthy outlined that as long as the striker is featuring at club level then he will be in with a shout of making his squad ahead of the crucial Euro 2020 playoff against Slovakia in March.
“Yes, I’ve seen him. I had him watched, seen him. He’s looking healthy, he just needs to be playing.
“Nobody’s doubting his ability. When he’s come in, he’s been injured on a couple of occasions and he’s not been playing. It’s great that he’s got in and is playing some games.”
Long joined Southampton from Hull back in 2014 and signed his most recent contract extension in 2016.
“Shane Long is a really important player for us,” said Hasenhuttl of the striker last week in quotes reported by The Irish Post.
“He’s doing so well for us, he’s always there, working so hard and he’s so well-liked by the squad.
“He wants to play to the end and you can feel he’s not resting with his energy on the pitch, he wants to leave everything out there on the pitch.
“And it’s a massive help for me because he’s never saving energy, he’s giving everything knowing that he will be spent when he comes off.”.