Despite a 1-0 win at Chelsea, Southampton are still odds-on for Premier League relegation, having already sacked two managers this season. Ralph Hasenhuttl was one of the longer-serving coaches in the Premier League before being given his marching orders, while Nathan Jones' stint at St Mary's was spectacularly short, and it came as no surprise when the Welshman was relieved of his duties on February 12.
It leaves the Saints between a rock and a hard place, and the news broke on Wednesday 15 February that Jesse Marsch was no longer going to become the latest manager at Southampton. The football betting sites had suspended their betting market considering the former Leeds boss was close to agreeing terms, although the Hampshire outfit must now consider alternative options.
Ruben Selles is now odds-on favourite with most betting apps to take charge at St Mary's, with the bookies making the Southampton caretaker manager odds-on to be given some kind of permanent contract or to just see out the end of the season managing a team that currently look doomed for relegation.
Aside from Southampton FC fans, the name of Ruben Selles will mean very little, although he's currently in caretaker charge of first-team affairs following the departure of Nathan Jones. The 39-year-old joined Southampton FC in June 2022 to become the assistant to then-manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and remained at the club following the Austrian's departure.
Part of the reason why Selles is favourite with new betting sites is down to the fact that he might only need to take charge for 10 games in order for some betting sites to pay out on this market, with the Spaniard taking control of first-team affairs when Southampton claimed a brilliant 1-0 win at Chelsea.
Selles is fairly unknown in the football world, although he did work as assistant manager at FC Copenhagen between 2020-21 after previously being in charge of the Valencia Under-18 team. He has never been the first-team coach anywhere before but now has an opportunity to demonstrate his worth.
The bookies had suspended their next Southampton manager betting market last week, with Jesse Marsch apparently close to finalising terms with the Hampshire club. However, it appears that the American's demand for a longer contract was rebuffed and the club remain without a permanent manager.
It's worth noting that Wolves initially failed to secure the services of Julen Lopetegui but were able to recruit him further down the line. Perhaps Southampton will come back with an improved offer to hire the former RB Leipzig manager, with Marsch's betting odds with betting sites suggesting that he's still potentially in the running for the job.
After missing out on Jesse Marsch, is it possible that Southampton might make an approach for Steven Gerrard? The former Rangers manager has been out of work since being relieved of his duties at Aston Villa last autumn, with the Liverpool FC legend paying the price for a series of poor performances.
However, Southampton might reflect on the fact that Gerrard was able to produce a competitive team north of the border and end Celtic's stranglehold of the Scottish Premiership title, with Rangers actually going an entire season unbeaten. Much depends on whether the former England midfielder would consider the challenge of managing the club in the Championship, which is a likely occurrence next season.
Southampton previously swooped for an Argentinean manager when they secured Mauricio Pochettino, and perhaps they will do something similar and go after the highly-rated Marcelo Gallardo. The 46-year-old has been in charge at River Plate since 2014, and he has an impressive win rate of 54% at a club who have highly demanding supporters.
Gallardo won the Argentine Primera Division with River Plate in 2021, with three Copa Argentina titles secured with the same club. He has previously been linked with a number of other vacant English managerial positions including Wolves, and it wouldn't be a surprise if Southampton opened talks with someone who could bring a new philosophy to the team.
Perhaps Gallardo would be regarded as something of a risk considering he only has experience of managing Uruguayan club Nacional and River Plate, although the Southampton board might be prepared to take a punt with their Premier League status being at stake.
Wolverhampton Wanderers have decided to go down the route of hiring Julen Lopetegui as a replacement for Bruno Lage and that means that Nuno Espirito Santo remains as a coach in Saudi Arabia. The Portuguese previously did an excellent job with Wolves and steered the team from the Championship to the top flight at the first time of asking.
Nuno didn't have a good time of things when hired as manager of Tottenham Hotspur at the beginning of last season and clearly wasn't anywhere near the north London club's first choice, with Antonio Conte swiftly replacing him. However, Southampton are a lower-profile club that might benefit from having him in charge.
Nuno is in charge of Al-Ittihad and is clearly earning plenty of money in this role although Southampton might reach out to enquire about a manager with valuable top-flight experience.
There appears to be more of a penchant for clubs hiring young managers these days, and it would be interesting to see whether Southampton consider Russell Martin as someone who could step into the fold at St Mary’s despite a lack of top-flight managerial experience.
The 37-year-old is currently carving out a managerial career after starting out with MK Dons before getting the chance to replace Steve Cooper at Swansea City. He’s been in his current role for 12 months, and the Brighton-born former Norwich player could have eyes on the situation at St Mary’s.
Martin favours an attacking brand of football, and it could be interesting to see if he’s potentially interviewed for the role after the club's talks with Jesse Marsch broke down.
One of the more popular appointments Southampton could make would be Mauricio Pochettino, with the Argentine having been in charge of the South Coast club between 2013-14. While he only presided over the Saints for 60 games, he had a win rate of 38.33%, and there were 23 wins and 18 draws.
His managerial achievements at St Mary's led to Tottenham swooping for a manager who took charge of Spurs for nearly 300 games in all competitions, with Pochettino then going on to manage Paris Saint-Germain, and the former Espanyol coach could be open to a return to Southampton.
It might be that Poch regards a Saints return as a backward step in his career, although the PSG role will have been a money-spinner for someone who still has plenty of years ahead of him in the dugout at the age of 50.
Wayne Rooney recently left Derby County with his head held high, with the all-time record England scorer passing up the chance to take charge of the Rams in League One. He instead took up a post in MLS, although it could be that Southampton consider an approach for someone who worked a few minor miracles at the Midlands club.
Rooney was always swimming against the tide at Pride Park considering a transfer embargo and a points deduction were just some of the things he had to contend with. He might be intrigued by a Premier League vacancy, and he had Derby playing some excellent football in the previous two seasons.
The former Manchester United striker would command the respect of his dressing room, and it would see him follow in the footsteps of former England team-mates Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard who both have managerial roles in the Premier League.
As wild as it sounds, Alan Pardew could be among the Next Southampton Manager betting favourites. The 61-year-old previously had a stint in charge of the Saints between 2009-10, with a very healthy win rate of 53.1%, although this was admittedly in a lower division rather than in the top flight.
Pardew recently had a very short spell in charge of CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria, while he didn’t spend any longer with ADO Den Haag, although he was previously in charge of West Brom, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United. Perhaps he could see this St Mary’s role as a perfect opportunity to have a final roll of the dice.