Former Stoke City boss Mark Hughes remains the firm favorite to takeover from Mauricio Pellegrino at Southampton.

By 90Min
March 14, 2018

Former Stoke City boss Mark Hughes remains the firm favorite to takeover from Mauricio Pellegrino at Southampton, with the club expected to hire the Welshman in the coming days. 

The BBC report that the Saints are currently in talks with Hughes over becoming the club's next manager, who will be tasked with saving the Saints from their precarious position in the Premier League table. 

Pellegrino was sacked shortly after the Saints' very disappointing 3-0 defeat to relegation rivals Newcastle United. Southampton have now won just once in 17 league matches. 

Mark Hughes has been out of work since January, after Stoke City decided to relieve him of his managerial duties. The perennial Premier League boss spent five years with the Potters, his longest stint as a manager in the division. Previously, he has worked for Queens Park Rangers, Fulham, Manchester City, and Blackburn Rovers. 

Hughes left Stoke occupying a place in the relegation zone, having won just five league matches out of 22. The Potters had the worst defensive record in the division, despite spending big money on defenders like Kevin Wimmer and Bruno Martins Indi in the summer. 

'Sparky' will be expected to make his return to Southampton as a manager in the coming days, after spending two years from 1998 to 2000 with the Saints as a player. 

The former Wales international has taken charge of 445 Premier League matches during his managerial career, but perhaps faces his biggest challenge yet if he takes the Saints job. With eight matches to go, the Saints face a difficult run in their bid for Premier League survival. 

They are yet to face Arsenal, Chelsea, and champions-elect Manchester City on the final day of the season. They also need to contend with the FA Cup, where they face Wigan Athletic in the quarter finals. 

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