Former Bayer Leverkusen manager Roger Schmidt was close to agreeing a deal with Southampton.
According to Sky Sports, Schmidt was about to secure a contract with Southampton before he opted to move to Bejing to earn far more than he would in England.
The lure of Chinese mega bucks was too big for the German boss, leaving Southampton to consider other options.
The report claims that Southampton have narrowed their shortlist down to four names, with Schmidt and Thomas Tuchel both having been scratched off in the last week.
Claude Puel was relieved of his duties after losing the support of the fans, with Southampton looking to bring in a motivating manager who can lift the spirit on the south coast.
Schmidt was seen as that man but has signed for Beijing Sinobo Guoan on a two-and-a-half year deal.
Frank De Boer and Maurico Pellegrino are thought to be two of the names on the list, the other two are unknown as of this time.