Southampton ‘know who’ their potential next manager is and the club have spoken to Ralph Hasenhuttl about the situation, says chief executive Martin Semmens on BBC 5 Live Sport.
The Lowdown: Hasenhuttl set to leave?
The Athletic’s Southampton reporter Dan Sheldon previously reported that manager Ralph Hasenhuttl will consider retiring once his current contract expires in 2024.
The Austrian joined the club in December 2018 and has since taken charge of 142 matches, averaging 1.33 points per game.
If he sees out the remainder of his contract, the 54-year-old will become Southampton’s longest-serving manager since Chris Nicholl.
However, that will be the expected end for Hasenhuttl’s tenure, as he was quoted in an interview with Kicker (relayed by The Athletic) saying: “I want to put Southampton on a very healthy footing by 2024, but then that is it.”
The Latest: Saints know Hasenhuttl successor
During an interview with BBC 5 Live Sport, Southampton chief executive Semmens claimed that the club know who their potential next manager will be and that this has been discussed with the current boss.
With the interview being shared on Twitter, Semmens said: “We do know who our potential next manager is and Ralph Hasenhuttl knows this, it’s not something to be scared of!”
The Verdict: Potential worry?
Whilst it may seem great that Saints are moving early in their search of a new manager, this could prove to be a worrying sign for fans.
Hasenhuttl is contracted to the club until the end of the 2024 season. Therefore, with over two years left on his current deal, this seems incredibly far in advance to already be selecting a specific replacement – could the 54-year-old be moving on sooner than expected?
Some scouting around the market is of course expected, but the news that a new manager is already in the pipeline could suggest that an unexpected switch is around the corner, which is certainly cause for concern given how well Hasenhuttl’s side have been playing recently.
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