Mark Hughes has been lined up as the prime candidate to replace Mauricio Pellegrino at Southampton, according to reports on Tuesday.
Pellegrino lost his job at St. Mary’s on Monday night after a run that had left the Saints in 17th place in the Premier League table, with just one league in since November and a demoralising 3-0 loss to fellow relegation candidates Newcastle last weekend.
Several sources have now claimed that Southampton are ready to enlist Hughes with the task of keeping the club’s head above water in the final eight games of the season.
Hughes, who made 60 appearances for Southampton at the tail-end of his playing career, has been out of work since being let go by Stoke City in January, but the report suggest that his vast experience in Premier League management is a big factor in their wish to appoint him.
Should Hughes be appointed, it will be his sixth managerial post in England’s top tier, dating back to his time at Blackburn Rovers in 2004. All going well, he could even be appointed before the Saints’ clash with another relegation rival in the form of West Ham United this weekend.
Marco Silva, who was reported to be an early contender for the post, is not though to be under consideration – and, in any event, the former Watford boss is being courted by Benfica.