According to reports, Southampton are already eyeing up replacements for Mauricio Pellegrino, even if he avoids relegation.
Southampton have already drawn up a shortlist of managers for next season, with Fulham’s Slavisa Jokanovic and Ostersunds gaffer Graham Potter top of the pile.
Pellegrino has had a torrid season with Southampton, and they sit just one point above the relegation zone. The report claims that even if Pellegrino can keep Saints up, he will still be sacked at the end of the season.
Fulham’s Slavisa Jokanovic is the first name on the list of replacements. The 49 year-old has Fulham flying in the Championship, just five points behind the automatic promotion places.
Ostersunds’ Graham Potter is another name being mentioned, the 42-year-old Englishman impressing with his side’s recent 2-1 win at Arsenal in the Europa League.
Potter would be an interesting choice. He could be magical, but his lack of experience in England would be a real concern. He has won two league titles and last year’s Swedish Cup during his time at Ostersunds, but a move directly to the Premier League could come too soon and it would be a risky appointment on Southampton’s part. If Potter were to have some success with a Championship team, he could have a queue of Premier League clubs after him further down the line.
Jokanovic has moved around a lot as a manager, but if he can find his feet quickly in the Premier League he could be the ideal man to take Southampton to where they want to be. His Fulham side have been in incredible form recently, winning 11 of their last 14 league games and drawing the other three.
Luring Jokanovic away from Craven Cottage could be difficult, but if they fail to get promoted he could make the jump to a Premier League club.
Saints fans will also be intrigued by what Jokanovic could bring with him. 17 year-old Ryan Sessegnon has been linked with some top Premier League sides, but with Southampton’s reputation for nurturing young talent he could be tempted to follow his manager.
Of course, all of this will be up in the air if Saints do go down this season, so keeping their Premier League status must be the first priority.
Saints fans, who would you prefer as manager next season? Let us know by voting below…