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Odds Slashed On Europa League Winning Manager Succeeding Mark Hughes At Southampton

Mark Hughes is on his last legs at Saints
Mark Hughes is on his last legs at Saints

Former Southampton manager Claude Puel piled more misery on his old employers and their under-pressure gaffer Mark Hughes after his Leicester City side knocked the south coast strugglers out of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

The game itself was rather forgettable, with the Saints carding their third goalless stalemate in their last six league and cup games, with Hughes’ men denied a late winner by VAR. In the end, Leicester edged it 6-5 on penalties as the visitors’ sorry winless streak was extended to 11 matches in all competitions (excluding penalties).

Hughes, the scorching hot odds-on favourite for the sack, has plunged deeper into the mire but somehow remains in the Southampton dugout, although the club could now decide to wield the axe ahead of Saturday’s clash at home to Manchester United.

Former Saints defender Garry Monk, currently at Birmingham, remains the 15/8 favourite to become the next Southampton manager, followed by former Monaco head coach Leonardo Jardim, but he looks to be darting off to Saudi Arabia outfit Al-Nassr.

The unfavourable trio of David Moyes, Sam Allardyce, and Steve Bruce are inevitable ‘candidates’ in the betting, however Saints fans will be intrigued to hear that Quique Sanchez Flores has been slashed to just 5/1 in the market, making the Spaniard the third favourite to replace Hughes.

Flores is looking for work, having left Espanyol back in April, and has Premier League experience to his name following a one-year spell at Watford with whom he led through to the FA Cup semi-finals.

The former Real Madrid player has also managed the likes of Valencia, Benfica, and Atletico Madrid, winning the Europa League with the latter back in 2009/10 - beating Roy Hodgson's Fulham - then the UEFA Super Cup after beating Champions League victors Inter Milan.

At Benfica, he lifted the Portuguese League Cup, along with the UAE equivalent with Al Ahli, where he also won the President’s Cup.

Sanchez, who was recently interviewed for the Egypt job, would no doubt be interested in what Southampton had to say should the 18th-placed club come calling, as Hughes’ prospects of remaining as manager appear increasingly bleak.

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