He may have been unable to mould Fulham’s soggy Play-Doh into a model relegation fighter but bespectacled Bundesliga-winning boss Felix Magath is still floating Southampton’s boat.
Only 3/5 favourite Ronald Koeman is shorter in the betting the than German, who is 7/2 to be the next permanent denizen of the St Mary’s dugout.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche is next in the reckoning at 8/1, with play-off final loser Steve McClaren hot on his heels at 10/1.
The Mirror suggest that despite Fulham blocking their ‘request for talks’, the Saints remain keen to parlay with the renowned disciplinarian.
While it may be a move that raises eyebrows among the Southampton faithful, there are arguably few managers more suited to following in the wake of departed gaffer Maurico Pochettino.
Two threads of continuity have been present throughout Magath’s 19-year managerial career, a preference and aptitude for developing young players and an insistence on maximum commitment to physical fitness.
The 60-year-old has already offered verbal assurances to both the Cottagers and their supporters that he’ll remain in west London to oversee the bid to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Yet a man who plucked the likes of Philippe Lahm and Thomas Muller from amongst the youth ranks and launched them on their way to first-team superstardom would surely jump at the chance to work with the fruits of the Saints’ feted youth setup.
Calum Chambers, James Ward-Prowse, Harrison Reed, Matt Target, Luke Shaw and Sam Gallagher were all in and around the first team last season and none have yet bid farewell to their teenage years.
Meanwhile, an obsession with fitness that it has often been suggested walks a tightrope between meticulous and brutal is ideal for the high-pressing game that has given Southampton so much success under his potential predecessor.