Southampton boss Hasenhuettl agrees new four-year deal

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(Reuters) - Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl has agreed a new four-year contract to remain with the club until 2024, the Premier League side said on Tuesday.

Southampton, who appointed Hasenhuettl on a 2-1/2-year contract in December 2018 after firing Mark Hughes, said the extension was made keeping in mind their long-term vision developed for the team and the wider football project.

"I said when I arrived... that we were at the beginning of a long journey, and also a journey that would bring emotion and hopefully enjoyment. We've already had moments where we could celebrate together, and some that have been... challenging," the Austrian said in a statement on the club's website.

"The way we've handled this together as a group of people has been incredible for me, and I believe we now have strong foundations here that can allow us to take the next steps in our progress as a team."

Southampton said Richard Kitzbichler had also extended his contract as first team assistant coach.

The Saints were 14th in the Premier League with nine games remaining when the COVID-19 pandemic halted all football in England.

Premier League clubs have returned to training following the disruption, and the season is set to resume on June 17.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Hugh Lawson)