Ralph Hasenhuttl has warned Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg that he will lose his captaincy at Southampton if he allows his contract to run down.
The Danish international will be entering the final year of his contract next season, and he has been linked to several clubs in the Premier League, most notably Tottenham and Everton.
The manager has claimed that Southampton should try to "avoid letting players go without a transfer fee", with this mainly being directed towards Hojbjerg's situation.
Speaking on the matter, Hassenhuttl also added that "As a a captain, you cannot lead a team without extending your contract. This is always difficult".
Whilst he claimed that Hojbjerg is a "young player with a big future", he also stated that "This is not the ideal situation" to be in. Hojbjerg has previously admitted that he has a desire to play at a higher level, with his goal being "to win the Premier League and the Champions League".
Hojbjerg has made 129 appearances for the Saints in all competitions since joining in 2016, and he was handed the captaincy by Hasenhuttl himself in December 2018.
The ex-Bayern Munich man is still only 24, and offers from clubs higher up in the table such as Tottenham and Everton might seem tempting, and first-team football could be guaranteed given the underperforming seasons that both clubs have had.
Tottenham are still seeking a defensive midfield replacement for both Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama, whilst Everton are looking to sell Morgan Schneiderlin and loan Tom Davies, and will need replacements.