Next Southampton manager: Prime target ‘verbally accepts’ job offer, with Prem legend also keen to take charge

Jesse Marsch and Bruno Lage

A recently sacked Premier League boss has ‘verbally accepted’ a proposal from Southampton to become Nathan Jones’ replacement, while a former Manchester United player is interested in taking the hot seat if that move falls through.

Southampton have been looking for a new manager since sacking Jones on Sunday. The former Luton boss was at the helm for just 95 days, with Southampton losing nine out of their 14 matches in that time.

The 2-1 home defeat to Wolves on Saturday proved to be the final straw. Southampton had taken the lead in the 27th minute when January signing Carlos Alcaraz scored his first goal for the club. And things got even better for Jones’ men when Mario Lemina was sent off for Wolves after a second yellow card.

However, the Saints capitulated in the second half, with Jan Bednarek netting an own goal and Joao Gomes bagging the winner for Wolves on his debut.

That result stretched Southampton’s losing run at St Mary’s to four consecutive league games. Southampton chiefs knew they had to respond and axed the Welshman, making him the club’s shortest-serving boss in the Premier League era.

American Jesse Marsch, who was sacked by Leeds on February 6, soon became one of the frontrunners to replace Jones.

Not long after Jones’ departure, several sources including The Athletic and The Independent revealed Marsch to be under consideration.

And according to a big update from talkSPORT, Marsch has now ‘verbally accepted’ the role. talkSPORT’s tweet does not provide much more information than that, such as when he may take over or how long his Saints contract will last for.

Former Leeds boss close to replacing Nathan Jones

But it seems the 49-year-old is now close to becoming Southampton’s new manager. The two parties just need to agree on a contract before the move can go through.

Marsch is not the only boss being linked with the vacant hot seat. According to talkSPORT, ex-Man Utd goalscorer Wayne Rooney is ‘keen’ to return to England. He has expressed an interest in replacing Jones.

Contact has already been made between the former striker and Southampton chiefs. Rooney is currently ‘weighing up’ whether to push forward and potentially become their next boss.

However, he faces serious competition for the role from Marsch, as the latter appears to be in pole position. The likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Torino head coach Ivan Juric are also in the frame.

Southampton certainly need a safe pair of hands to come in. They are under real threat of relegation to the Championship, currently occupying 20th spot. They sit on just 15 points and are four points away from safety.

Other teams such as Leeds, Everton and Bournemouth are struggling too. But the reality is Southampton have been truly shocking in the league in recent weeks.

It is not just a change in manager which needs to happen. The players need to realise the dire situation they are in and seriously up their games. They have one of the worst defensive records in the league, while they are also one of the lowest scorers. With players such as James Ward-Prowse, Kyle Walker-Peters and Che Adams in the squad, that simply should not be the case.