Southampton contenders: Marco Silva, Mark Hughes, Slaven Bilic and more

Image: Mark Hughes was sacked by Stoke earlier this season

Mark Hughes has emerged as the early favourite to replace Mauricio Pellegrino, who was sacked by Southampton on Monday evening.

The former Stoke and Manchester City manager was installed as the front-runner for the post by bookmakers Sky Bet, shortly after the news emerged of Pellegrino's departure.

Here are the main contenders for the job, according to Sky Bet (all odds correct as of 10.30pm on Monday)...

Mark Hughes (4/11)

Hughes played more than 50 games for Southampton between 1998 and 2000 and has plenty of Premier League experience having been in charge of Blackburn, Man City, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers. His five-year spell in charge of Stoke - one of three sides currently below Southampton in the table - ended in January when he was sacked, but he could be ready for a new challenge after two months out of the game.


Marco Silva (9/4)

Silva has been linked with Southampton in the newspapers since mid-January when he left Watford. The Portuguese manager made his name in the Premier League when he took over at Hull in 2017 and even though he was unable to keep them in the Premier League, he earned a move to Watford last summer. Strong links with Everton undermined his work at Vicarage Road and he left under a cloud earlier this season.

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Image: Marco Silva is among the favourites for the vacant Southampton job

Slaven Bilic (9/1)

Another man who could be keen to take on a fresh challenge is Bilic, who enjoyed just over two years in charge of West Ham before being sacked in November. The former Croatia boss told Monday Night Football in January that clubs that change managers too often may not yield good results in the long term.

Brendan Rodgers (20/1)

Former Swansea and Liverpool boss Rodgers has revitalised his career at Celtic, winning the Scottish Premiership last season and going on a 69-game unbeaten domestic run. He has Premier League experienced both at the top and bottom of the division, and may be tempted into a move back south.

Graham Potter (20/1)

Highly-rated Potter was the last English manager standing in European club competition this season, with Swedish minnows Ostersund going out to Arsenal in the Europa League round of 32. However, a 3-0 home defeat was followed by a stunning 2-1 win at the Emirates, and the former York defender has worked wonders at the club. Potter would be a brave choice but the 42-year-old's record in Sweden stands up against some of the very best in the business. Since taking charge in 2011, Potter has taken Ostersund from the fourth tier to the Swedish top flight.

Image: Graham Potter has previously said he is not considering a job in the UK

Ronald Koeman (20/1)

The new Netherlands manager left Southampton in 2016 to take over at Everton, but that did not go according to plan. He was sacked in October last year, with the Toffees in 18th place despite spending big in the summer. Saints fans enjoyed Koeman's positive style of play at St Mary's, but having not even managed a game for his country yet, it seems unlikely he will be in the Saints hotseat anytime soon.

Other contenders

Frank De Boer (22/1) is in the running, though he was dubbed the Premier League's "worst manager in history" by Jose Mourinho on Monday. Seventy-one-year-old Harry Redknapp (25/1) would no doubt love a return to the Premier League, and 2012 title winner and Zenit manager Roberto Mancini (25/1) is on the list.

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