Mark Hughes a possible contender for Southampton vacancy

13/03/18 10:50am

Former Southampton striker Mark Hughes was sacked by Stoke in January

Southampton`s search for a new manager is some way from concluding, according to Sky sources - but Mark Hughes is understood to be one of the favourites for the job.

The Saints sacked Mauricio Pellegrino on Monday night, having won just one of their last 17 games - leaving them just a point clear of the Premier League drop zone.

And the experienced Hughes, who made just over 50 appearances for Southampton in his playing days, has been linked with the job at St Mary`s.

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Hughes began his managerial career with the Wales national team and has subsequently managed Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR and Stoke.

The 54-year-old has never been relegated from the top flight, although he was sacked by Stoke in January following a poor run of form.

Former West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has also been mentioned in connection with the Saints job, but Sky sources understand he is not under consideration.

Former Hull and Watford boss Marco Silva is also seen in some quarters as a contender for the position.

Silva has been strongly linked with a return to his native Portugal to manage Benfica but his agent told Sky Sports News that there is no truth to the story and that Silva doesn`t plan to work in Portugal in the near future.

Whoever takes charge at Southampton will have a tricky run-in to contend with. Their eight remaining Premier League fixtures include games with Arsenal (a), Chelsea (h) and Manchester City (h).

Saints are not considering former West Ham boss Slaven Bilic at present

Meanwhile, the Saints have an FA Cup quarter-final at Wigan on Sunday to prepare for.

It was business as usual at Saints` Staplewood training ground on Tuesday, with first-team coach and former fans` favourite Kelvin Davis - who made over 250 appearances in goal for Southampton - taking the session.

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