Russell Martin has verbally agreed to become the new Southampton 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 the Saints remain in advanced talks with the Championship club over his compensation and that of his backroom staff.
Selles previously said he would not stay at Southampton if he was not the permanent manager, and his exit was confirmed by the club on Wednesday with his contract not to be renewed.
A statement added. “The club wants to place on record its thanks to Ruben for taking on the managerial position at a difficult time for the club and for giving his all as we attempted 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 all the best for his future career.”
His expected successor Martin has only a year left on his Swansea contract and he postponed a trip to the US where he was due to discuss a contract extension with the club’s American owners.
Saints’ PL run ends
Southampton have been relegated from the Premier League for the first time since the 2004-05 season, and third time from the top-flight overall (also 1973-74). 2022-23 was their 11th consecutive Premier League season.
Manchester City’s assistant manager, Enzo Maresca, was alongside Martin in the running for the Southampton job, but he has now withdrawn from the process after deciding he wants another season working with Pep Guardiola.
Martin’s Swansea side finished in 10th place this season and ended the Championship season strongly, unbeaten in nine games with wins over West Brom and Norwich City during that run.
Three managers have occupied the St Mary’s hot seat 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 Nathan Jones’ sacking in February but could not steer the Saints away from relegation from the Premier League.
Southampton relegated – what has gone so badly wrong?
Southampton are a football club burdened by trouble and strife. It has been that way since their European zenith under Ronald Koeman – an extension of the fine work Mauricio Pochettino had undertaken in the two seasons before his arrival.
Saints are a far cry from the club the Dutchman inherited back in 2014. And some distance from where they themselves expected to be after establishing a brief foothold as one of the Premier League’s top-half teams.
A story that got muddled before reaching its fairytale conclusion.
Indeed, Southampton’s plight is a bit like a ‘once upon a time’, less the happy ending. A series of pinch points without the comfort of resolution.
Read more on how Southampton have found themselves relegated back to the Championship…