Koeman in pole position as Saints plan further talks

Ronald Koeman appears to be the front runner to succeed Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton, after he impressed during his initial interview.

Having agreed to let Pochettino move to Tottenham Hotspur last month, the Saints are taking their time to ensure they appoint the right man to replace the Argentine. This is a crucial time for a team which finished eighth place in the Premier League last season, with a number of their key players attracting rival interest.

Rickie Lambert has already left for Liverpool in a £4million deal, whilst the Reds have also been linked with a £25million move for Adam Lallana. Luke Shaw, meanwhile, has been widely tipped to complete a £27million move to Manchester United, and Morgan Schneiderlin is believed to be a potential target for Arsenal.

So it is imperative the St Mary’s club make an appointment which will grab the attention of their current squad, and Koeman comes with a reputation likely to do just that. The former Holland international, who won 78 caps as a player, is currently a free agent, having decided to end his three-year spell at Feyenoord.

The 51-year-old began his managerial career in his homeland with Vitesse Arnhem, before moving on to Ajax where he won two league titles. He then spent a year in Portugal with Benfica, before winning another Dutch title with PSV Eindhoven. Spanish side Valencia was his next port of call, winning the Copa del Rey in 2009, before again returning to his roots with AZ Alkmaar and then his latest club.

As a player Koeman helped the national side win their only major trophy, when they picked up the European Championships in 1988. At club level he won a league title with Ajax and three more with PSV Eindhoven, but it is his time at Barcelona which he will be remembered for. During six years at the Camp Nou he collected four league titles, a European Cup, a Copa del Rey and the UEFA Super Cup.

The Telegraph claim Koeman met officials from Southampton last Monday, and having impressed, is due for a second round of discussions in the coming days. Should the Premier League side decide the former Feyenoord coach is their man, they could make the appointment before the end of the week.


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