Mauricio Pochettino has said he will follow executive chairman Nicola Cortese out of Southampton if the Italian quits the club.
Pochettino has aligned himself to the Italian businessman, who took flak for appointing him in January but is understood to be considering his position at the club.
Cortese, who has overseen Saints rise from League One to the top-flight, wants the Liebherr trust to underwrite his strategy for Southampton and has indicated he will make a decision on whether to remain at the club within the next month.
Some Saints fans may not have worried unduly about the loss of Cortese – who has been criticised for his hard-nosed approach and fallen out with legends like Matt Le Tissier and Francis Benali.
But the news that Pochettino could go will stun Southampton fans, who were initially appalled at the decision to appoint him in place of Nigel Adkins in January.
Asked if he would stay at St Mary’s if Cortese left, the Argentinian said: “Of course not, because the person that has put his faith in me in this club and as a manager is Nicola Cortese.
“Nicola Cortese has basically been the reality at Southampton for the past four years. Of course, the people that are in the club, that are part of the club, that are behind the scenes in the club were a little bit worried about what has been said.
“Me on a personal sense, I would not understand a Southampton without Nicola being here.”
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