Is Mark Devlin set to replace Les Reed at Southampton after confirming Brentford exit?

Southampton released a statement on Thursday confirming that they had parted company with vice-chairman Les Reed, but does the imminent departure of Mark Devlin from Brentford suggest that they have already found the 65-year-old’s replacement.

What’s the word, then?

Well, following a dreadful couple of seasons in which the team has struggled, managerial appointments haven’t worked out and the recruitment has been poor, Reed’s eight-year spell at St Mary’s came to an end this week.

Chairman Ralph Krueger has suggested in his statement that the south coast outfit will now look to appoint a head of football operations to succeed him, with the search already underway to find the correct person for the job.

Meanwhile, it was announced out of the blue via another statement on Friday that Brentford chief executive Devlin would be leaving his role with the Championship club at the end of December after seven years, confirming that a “fresh challenge” awaits him elsewhere.

Could it be at St Mary’s?

It wouldn’t be a surprise if it was.

The Bees are a club which has a forward-thinking model that many other clubs looking from the outside in admire, and they have largely punched above their weight in recent years in terms of recruitment – buying and selling players – especially.

Their football philosophy is also easy on the eye, and Devlin’s work at Griffin Park may not have gone unnoticed by Southampton.

That said, whether a chief executive is suitable to step into a more football-heavy position remains to be seen, and it will be interesting to see whether there are further developments from either club or the man himself in the coming weeks before he is due to leave Brentford.