Tony Pulis reportedly turned down the recently vacated Cardiff City job as he feels he can one day take charge of Southampton.
Are the Southampton board stupid enough to turn to Pulis?
The former Stoke boss has been out of work since leaving his post as Middlesbrough manager in May, after failing to obtain a top-six finish for the north Yorkshire club last season.
The Sun (via HITC) report that Pulis turned down the opportunity to manage Cardiff after the Bluebirds parted ways with Neil Warnock last week.
Pulis believes that he is still capable of managing in the top-flight despite his latest shortfallings at Boro, with strugglers Southampton and West Ham apparently on his radar.
The 61-year-old will reportedly hold out until either of those sides come knocking before getting back into management, and isn’t interested in taking a job in the Championship.
Neil Harris was unveiled as Cardiff manager over the weekend, and will look to change the Welsh club’s fortunes after a poor start to the campaign has left them languishing in the bottom-half of the second-tier.
Southampton’s problems this term are well-known. The Hampshire outfit lie second-bottom in the Premier League after 12 games and have the worst defensive record in the division this term having conceded 29 goals. Indeed, Pulis has previous when it comes to saving teams from the drop, having rescued Crystal Palace upon his arrival at Selhurst Park in 2013.
However, the club have made (per the Telegraph) it clear that manager Ralph Hasenhuttl’s job is safe and that the Austrian is the correct man to steer the club away from danger.
A former Portsmouth manager, any move for Pulis would surely be unwise and unpopular. The Saints have tried fire-fighters before with the likes of Mark Hughes – spoken about in the same bracket as the former Stoke City coach by the Telegraph in 2018 – to little avail.
Though it’s been a difficult season on the south coast, sticking with a manager such as Hasenhuttl to rebuild the club after a few years of struggling looks to be a better strategy long-term.
Pulis may be more likely to bring short-term survival, but Hasenhuttl has got a much higher ceiling.
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