Waiting game suggests shrewd Southampton have big ideas for their next managerial appointment

Waiting game suggests shrewd Southampton have big ideas for their next managerial appointment

Euro 2016 is proving to be an adept distraction as pre-season for the domestic calendar creeps ever closer.

The 2016/17 Premier League campaign kicks off in eight weeks, yet Southampton remain without a manager.

Major upheaval is an annual occurrence at St Mary’s and this summer saw coveted Dutch coach Ronald Koeman depart for nouveaux riches Everton.

Speculation as to who will replace him hasn’t exactly been hogging the column inches either, with an initial flicker for Frank de Boer to take the reins quickly running out of gas.

Italian Walter Zenga is among the less credible rumours to have surfaced and promptly been quashed, suggesting the Saints are no closer to naming a successor to Koeman while their rivals beaver away with next season in mind.

Ronald Koeman dresses down for a day at the office
Ronald Koeman dresses down for a day at the office

It’s a situation that, if left to linger much longer, is sure to breed panic, but maintaining this patient stance could see Southampton land one of the hottest coaching properties on the planet.

Rumour has it Paris Saint-Germain will wash their hands of Laurent Blanc this summer after reaching, but failing to advance beyond, the previous three quarter finals of the Champions League.

Given the abundance of Rouges et Bleus quality available to Blanc, this respectable return is widely regarded as a disappointment and is likely to hinder the Frenchman in his attempts to land a job at another elite outfit with continent-conquering ambitions in the short term.

With the increased wealth available to Premier League clubs next season, roles like the vacancy at St Mary’s will be extra attractive to feted coaches from around the globe; Champions League winner Rafa Benitez was prepared to remain at Newcastle United in the Championship with a long-term view of getting his hands on the gold.

Compared to Benitez’s bind, the Southampton situation is a dream one – they finished sixth last term, granting them a place in the Europa League and a platform upon which they can build a team capable of breaking into the top four.

Their previous boss won multiple titles with different clubs in a division deemed inferior to the English top flight, yet he found the prospect of managing on the south coast sufficiently appealing to take the job. Blanc may be more reputable, but there are plenty of reasons why he’ll succeed the Dutchman.

Southampton are 12/1 to finish in the top four next season.

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