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Struggling Southampton fires manager Mauricio Pellegrino

Struggling Southampton fires manager Mauricio Pellegrino

Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, veteran Martin O'Neill and Koeman, who was named the new Netherlands coach last month, were among the outsiders for the job listed by bookmakers Skybet.

Southampton fired manager Mauricio Pellegrino on Monday in a bid to stop the team sliding out of the English Premier League.

The sacking of Pellegrino raises questions once more about Southampton's decision to fire Puel last summer.

The Argentine leaves with the Saints just one point above the relegation zone after failure to win their last four league games.

Hovering just one spot above the relegation zone Southampton are in danger of losing the top-flight status they acquired six seasons ago.

Silva impressed many with his ultimately fruitless attempts to guide Hull City to Premier League safety a year ago and he made a good start at Watford this season until an approach from Everton soured his relations with the club.

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Southampton hope to have their new boss in place before facing Wigan on Sunday for a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Hughes has been out of work since being sacked by Stoke City in January, but the club had previously recorded three consecutive finishes of ninth before sliding last season to 13.

But who will take on the challenge of keeping the Saints up?

The Times says that top of Southampton's wishlist to succeed Pellegrino is Marco Silva, the former Watford and Hull City head coach, but he is in advanced talks with Benfica over a two-year deal.

"Yes, you can lay the blame at the manager's door at how the team has played and been set but, but at the end of the day the players out on the football pitch have got to do the business".