Southampton would be wasting time targeting Leonardo Jardim after Fulham snub

According to a report in The Telegraph, Southampton managerial target Leonardo Jardim rejected a move to Fulham before Claudio Ranieri was appointed on Wednesday, which surely means the south coast outfit won’t get him either.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Mirror reported earlier this month that the former Monaco manager was high up on the club’s wish-list if they sacked Mark Hughes, although it was feared he was set to move to the Chinese Super League.

However, that is something that has failed to materialise so far with the 44-year-old still available, and The Telegraph report that he politely declined the opportunity to talk to Fulham about being Slavisa Jokanovic’s successor at Craven Cottage.

The report adds that a number of Premier League clubs are considering the highly-rated Venezuelan despite the fact he was only recently dismissed by Monaco after a poor start to the campaign, but his latest rejection suggests he is aiming high and doesn’t want a job with a club fighting at the wrong end of the table – something which Southampton undoubtedly are right now.

Could they still get him?

To be fair to the south coast club, they are still a bigger pull than Fulham – perhaps apart from the geography – because they are known to be a well-established top-flight outfit, but Jardim would likely want full control over transfers – this is not always the case at St Mary’s due to their “black box” system.

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A big wage/bonus for keeping them up and a sizeable January budget could tempt the 44-year-old as he looks to prove that he can be a success in English football, but the fact that he didn’t even choose to speak to their next opponents in the league is not a good sign for Ralph Krueger and co.

What is clear is that while Hughes has the support of the hierarchy at the moment, a defeat to the Cottagers next time out would surely see his position as untenable.