Southampton: 127-game star has already extended his contract at St. Mary's

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl salutes the supporters

Southampton have extended Alex McCarthy’s contract but are yet to publicly confirm the goalkeeper will remain at St Mary’s beyond the end of the season, according to The Sun journalist Tom Barclay.

Saints are eight points clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone and it appears boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has started to put plans in place for next term by tying McCarthy down to fresh terms.

What’s the latest news involving McCarthy?

It was revealed by MailOnline last November that Southampton were close to agreeing fresh terms with McCarthy.

The report suggested the goalkeeper, who made the move to the south coast after a deal was concluded with Crystal Palace in 2016, was on the brink of penning a three-year contract.

However, Saints are yet to publicly confirm whether McCarthy has committed his long-term future to the club, leading to concerns that his £50,000-per-week agreement would expire at the end of the campaign.

McCarthy made it clear in the early exchanges of the campaign that he was keen to remain on Southampton’s books and would head to the negotiating table ‘when the time is right’.

While the 32-year-old has agreed fresh terms, fellow goalkeepers Fraser Forster, Willy Caballero and Harry Lewis are set to see their respective contracts run out in the summer.

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What has Tom Barclay said about McCarthy?

Barclay understands McCarthy will not be among the stars to leave St Mary’s at the end of the season as he has signed a new deal.

The journalist told GIVEMESPORT: “I’ve looked into this. The interesting thing about this is that there’s been quite a lot of confusion over Alex McCarthy’s contract and it is true that it has been extended beyond the end of the season.

“There was a suggestion he was going to get a new deal earlier in the year, but then it was never confirmed and it still hasn’t been confirmed publicly.

“But I am led to believe he does have a contract beyond this summer.”

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Why have Southampton handed McCarthy a new contract?

There is no doubting that McCarthy is highly-rated by Hasenhuttl as, although he has failed to feature since December, he had played every minute of the Premier League season prior to suffering a hamstring injury.

The Southampton chief has previously described the shot-stopper as ‘fantastic’ and also noticed how McCarthy has taken his game to another level thanks to a string of improvements.

McCarthy has made 127 appearances since heading to Saints and, having previously been Hasenhuttl’s first choice option between the sticks, will be keen to make the position his own once again when he returns from the sidelines.

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