Southampton FC have sacked manager Mark Hughes. The Welshman was drafted in last season to keep the Saints in the Premier League and he succeeded in doing just that. However, the current campaign has been a disappointing one for a team which pays, on average, the 11th highest wage per player of any club in the top flight. So, the search for a new manager is already under way, but who are the contenders to be the next man in the St. Mary’s dugout. We’ve looked at a few candidates.
Quique Sanchez Flores
At the time of writing, Quique Sanchez Flores is the bookmakers’ favourite to be the next Southampton manager. He did well in his last Premier League job as he guided Watford to a comfortable mid-table finish and to the semi-finals of the FA Cup. His last job, at Espanyol, didn’t go so well, but the Spaniard would be confident of succeeding at St Mary’s.
Leonardo Jardim was rather harshly sacked by Monaco. After winning Ligue 1 and taking Monaco to the Champions League semi-final, Jardim saw most of his best players sold and when things unsurprisingly went badly, he was the fall guy. His track record is great and he’d likely be the first choice of most Saints fans, if he’d be interested in taking the job.
Brendan Rodgers’ name has been touted with various Premier League jobs for a while, but it’s unlikely that he’d leave Celtic – where he is pretty much winning everything – to join a team in a relegation battle.
After taking Ajax to the Europa League final, Peter Bosz left to join Borussia Dortmund. He wasn’t quite able to replicate the success he had in the Netherlands in Germany, and was sacked in December 2017. He’s had a year out of football and is keen to get back involved and his name has been linked with Southampton.
It was reported last week that Paulo Sousa had held talks with Southampton, but it’s unclear if he is interested in taking the job. Sousa has won league titles as a manager in Hungary, Israel and Switzerland, but has a mixed record in England.
Any time a team is in relegation trouble, Sam Allardyce’s name is linked with their club. He’s kept numerous sides in the division and could do the same for Saints.
In a similar vein as Allardyce is David Moyes. The Scottish manager did well to keep West Ham in the Premier League last season.
Having stepped down at Ireland manager, Martin O’Neill could be looking to get back into club management.
Jurgen Klinsmann has been out of work since 2016 after making a bit of a mess of the USA’s World Cup qualification. He did well with the American side before that, though, and is said to be interested in becoming a club manager.
Ralph Hasenhuttl is credited with taking newly promoted RB Leipzig into the Champions League. His side played an attacking brand of football, which would certainly please the Saints crowd.
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