Ralph Hasenhuttl admits Southampton are struggling to find the right person to speak to at Chelsea about the future of loan-out star Armando Broja.
Striker Broja has shone for the Saints this season and is set to return for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal after being ineligible for last weekend’s 6-0 thrashing at the hands of his parent club. .
Manager Hasenhuttl has regularly spoken of his desire to extend the 20-year-old’s stay at St Mary’s beyond this campaign.
But, with Chelsea’s future clouded by uncertainty amid ongoing takeover talks, the Austrian reckons his club will have to be patient for the time being as they focus on their quest for a top-half result.
“We are discussing this issue right now,” Hasenhuttl said of the Broja situation.
“We all know the situation at Chelsea, there are a lot of changes there.
“Right now, it’s not that easy to find the right person to talk to and talk about the future of the players.
“Maybe it’s easier to focus on your work, do a good job until the end of the season. That helps him, that helps us.
“The higher we finish in the table, the more attractive we are to all players and this is the goal for the last seven games that we have.”
Albanian international Broja has scored nine goals in all competitions since temporarily swapping Stamford Bridge for the south coast.
However, the Slough-born leader hasn’t found the net in the league for over two months.
With Saints having picked up just one point from their last five top-flight games, including beating European champions Thomas Tuchel, Hasenhuttl is keen for Broja to return to his best form, starting against Mikel Arteta’s Gunners.
“Broja at his best is definitely a player who can help us,” added the Southampton manager.
“But the important thing is that he also has to step up and find his way back to his best performances, as we all have to. This is the goal for the weekend.”
Despite their recent slump, 14th-place Southampton remain just a point off 10th place.
Hasenhuttl, who suffered 9-0 defeats to Leicester and Manchester United during his tenure, wants his players to get over their last big loss quickly.
“You get this experience when you’re manager of this football club and we’ve definitely had these moments in the time we’ve been working together,” he said of the Chelsea defeat.
“There is still a lot to gain this season.
“We still have a very good situation with 36 points, it is very tight in the middle of the table and the important thing is that we return to the basics, to the fundamentals.
“We have a strong opponent coming up this weekend and we hope to show a different face.”
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