Russell Martin has verbally agreed to become Southampton’s new manager as current boss Ruben Selles’ departure at the end of the season is confirmed.
Discussions between Swansea and Southampton are ongoing over the issue of compensation and Saints remain in advanced talks with the Championship club over his compensation and that of its behind-the-scenes staff.
Selles had previously said he would not stay at Southampton if he was not the permanent manager, and his departure was confirmed by the club on Wednesday with his contract not being renewed.
An added statement. “The club would like to thank Ruben for taking on the managerial position at a difficult time for the club and for giving his all as we tried to stay in the Premier League.
“Ruben will take charge of the team for the final game against Liverpool on Sunday at St Mary’s. We wish him the best for his future career.”
His expected successor, Martin, has just one year left on his contract at Swansea and he has postponed a trip to the United States where he was due to discuss a contract extension with the club’s American owners.
End of the Saints PL race
Southampton were relegated from the Premier League for the first time since the 2004-05 season, and the third time from the top flight overall (also 1973-74). 2022-23 was their 11th successive Premier League season.
Manchester City assistant manager Enzo Maresca was alongside Martin in the running for the Southampton job but has now pulled out of the process after deciding he wants another season with Pep Guardiola.
Martin’s Swansea side finished in 10th place that season and finished the Championship season strong, unbeaten in nine games with wins over West Brom and Norwich City in that run.
Three managers have been in the hot seat at St Mary’s this season and none of them have managed more than three league wins with Ralph Hasenhuttl, Nathan Jones and Selles all failing to find a winning formula at the club.
Selles has been in charge since the sacking of Nathan Jones in February but could not steer Saints away from relegation from the Premier League.
Southampton relegated – what went so wrong?
Southampton is a football club beset by turmoil and strife. It has been that way since their European zenith under Ronald Koeman – an extension of the fine work that Mauricio Pochettino had undertaken in the two seasons before his arrival.
Saints are a far cry from the club the Dutchman inherited in 2014. And some distance from where they themselves expected to be after briefly establishing themselves as one of the first-half teams in the the Premier League.
A story that got confused before reaching its fairy tale conclusion.
Indeed, Southampton’s fate is a bit like an “once upon a time”, minus the happy ending. A series of pinch points without the comfort of resolution.
Find out more about how Southampton found themselves relegated to the Championship…