Hojbjerg stripped of Saints captaincy


London (AFP)

Southampton will go into the closing stages of the season with a new skipper after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was stripped of the captaincy by coach Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Denmark midfielder Hojbjerg has spoken of his wish to join a Champions League club next season.

The 24-year-old has just over 12 months left on his contract with the Premier League club.

"No, he will not be captain," Hasenhuttl told a press conference on Wednesday.

"I spoke with him and we had an agreement, and made clear that if you decide not to extend your contract, you will not be captain of this team.

"I've spoken to him in the last few days and he knows that he is an important player for this club. I think we have found a good agreement."

Hassenhuttl added that midfielder James Ward-Prowse, a product of Southampton's academy, would be their captain for the remainder of the campaign.

Mid-table Saints resume their season away to basement club Norwich on Friday.