Mark Hughes is edging closer to being appointed Southampton manager on a three-year contract, Sky Sports News understands.
The former Stoke and Manchester City boss guided the Saints to Premier League safety last season after taking over from Mauricio Pellegrino in March.
Sky Sports News understands Hughes held initial talks with the club last week and is now moving towards signing an agreement to keep him and his backroom staff at St Mary's until 2021.
The 54-year-old helped Southampton gain 11 points from their remaining 10 Premier League games as the club retained their place in the top flight for a seventh successive year.
Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger admitted to Sky Sports News last week that Hughes had dragged the club out of an "abyss" by saving them from relegation.
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"In February we realised we were in a relegation battle and that was an abyss that was daunting to look at for the first time in my time here," Krueger said.
"Our players came together with our change of coaching with Mark Hughes and our staff stayed calm. The club has huge momentum moving forward now but we might have had a different conversation had we got one goal less than Swansea!
"We got it done. Overall I'm pleased with the finish, very disappointed with the season and extremely hungry to put all the lessons we learned this year into play."