The Southampton and England striker Jay Rodriguez has signed a new four-year deal at the club, ahead of what is expected to be his comeback on the last day of the season at Manchester City - where he sustained the injury that has kept him out more than a year.
The 25-year-old has had a long road back from an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in April last year and is still yet to play this season, although he joined training with the first team squad earlier this month. He was due to be back around October but that was delayed and before Christmas he suffered a setback in his rehabilitation.
Rodriguez will not figure against Aston Villa on Saturday and is expected to play for the Southampton Under-21s against Manchester City’s Under-21s on Monday. Then it s hoped he will play some part for the senior team against their City counterparts on the last day of the season, a week on Sunday. It was at City that he suffered the ruptured cruciate, 13 months ago.
The new deal, despite the fact he is still yet to play for Ronald Koeman, shows the faith that Southampton have in a player who has been in demand from other Premier League clubs for some time. In September last year, Tottenham pushed to sign Rodriguez, with a £14m offer that included Andros Townsend, but Southampton did not want to do the deal.
Rodriguez had just one year remaining on his previous contract after this season and the new deal reflects his commitment to the club. As a homegrown player who scored 17 goals in his first Premier League season, he has been in demand from bigger clubs such as Tottenham and Manchester City who have to boost their quotas of homegrown players. He made his England debut against Chile in November 2013.