Southampton are set to appoint Mark Hughes as the club’s new permanent first-team manager, according to the Daily Echo.

The Welshman signed a short-term contract at St Mary’s near the start of March, joining on an initial interim basis with the club sat perilously low on the Premier League table.

Hughes had eight games to work with his Saints side and was able to successfully lead them to Premier League survival, avoiding the drop by three points and finishing in 17th place.

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Saints chairman Ralph Krueger sat down with the local media on Tuesday to field questions about a number of current issues surrounding the club and he responded to claims that Hughes will be staying for good.

We are in conversation with Mark Hughes. The opportunity that we all have if you look at Bowie (Mark Bowen) and Eddie (Niedzwiecki) too, the group, they were such a perfect fit for this club as people where they are in their careers, where we are as a club, where we were when they came in and where we would like to go there’s a fit there.

We are having conversations and that should be clear one way or the other pretty quickly. We are in conversation and would like to look at that first. The club, even when we took Mark, have a list and candidates circled but we sort of had a trial period for both sides, and I don’t like saying that really, but it was pretty intense. You couldn’t have gone through anything much more intense than we went through.

Southampton will be desperate to avoid a repeat of what happened in the season just gone, with the club enjoying four consecutive top-eight finishes prior to their lucky escape from relegation in the 2017/18 campaign.