Southampton are preparing to part ways with manager Mauricio Pellegrino at the end of the season regardless of if the Argentinian can ensure Premier League safety.
The Saints have experienced a torrid run of form this season having won just five of their 29 league games with Pellegrino at the helm, leading the club's board to have already identified a short-list of candidates to replace their current manager, according to the Mirror.
Pellegrino arrived on the south cost in the summer as the successor to Claude Puel and with the ambition to take the Saints back onto the European stage, however with just 28 points on the board Southampton sit in 17th position in the Premier League with just one point separating them from the drop zone.
Whilst many Southampton fans want to see the back of the 46-year-old sooner rather than later, the club's vice-chairman Les Reed has other ideas as he is said to be reluctant to making a change before the summer to prevent a panic appointment.
The club's current shortlist of candidates is understood to include Fulham's lavisa Jokanovic and Ostersund chief Graham Potter, both who continue to impress against the odds.
Pellegrino errors so far this season: 1. Persisting with F Forster in goal. 2. Continuing to play 1 up front. 3. Dropping JWP. 4. Dropping PEH 5. Leaving Gabbiadini on the bench all season. 6. Dropping players in form 7. Keeping faith with Tadic. 8. Not understanding the fans— JPS (@sorrell_john) March 4, 2018
Pellegrino is Southampton's fourth manager in as many seasons and could become the second in succession to lose his job despite taking the club to Wembley - following in Puel's footsteps - but he has insisted that he unconcerned about his future.
With just nine league games remaining Southampton face a tough task of keeping hold of their Premier League status for next season as they are set to face four clubs currently in the top eight of the table and three of their fellow relegation battlers.