Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino has been handed a seven-day, two-game ultimatum by the club's chiefs in order to save his position, with former Stoke City boss Mark Hughes lurking in the shadows, according to reports. 

The 46-year-old, who finds himself under self-admitted pressure, has struggled to make an impact since taking over the Saints during the summer, following the controversial sacking of now-Leicester City boss Claude Puel. 

The south coast club find themselves inside the bottom three and just two points ahead of rock-bottom Swansea City, who have shown signs of vast improvement since the appointment of Carlos Carvalhal in late December. 

But now, according to the Mirror, due to their rather lacklustre showings throughout the campaign so far, the Southampton hierarchy have given Pellegrino just two games to save his job - a win-or-bust derby against Brighton at St Mary’s on Wednesday night and another relegation dogfight, which sees them tackle West Bromwich Albion the following Saturday. 

It is thought the Saints chiefs are demanding a minimum haul of four points from the two crucial clashes, and if that is not achieved the Argentine will face the axe.

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The report also claims that if the 46-year-old was to be shown the exit door, the south coast club would be keen to make a swift appointment and see former player Mark Hughes as the man for the job. 

Despite being relieved from duties at Stoke following a dismal run of five defeats in seven Premier League outings, as well as a shock FA Cup exit to League Two side Coventry City, Southampton bosses believe the Welshman's experience would be pivotal in guiding them to safety. 

The Saints are the only side out of the English top-flight's bottom four to not change their manager this term as of yet.