Next Southampton boss: Saints want 'top quality young manager' to replace Hasenhuttl

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl on the touchline

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper will be on the ‘radar’ of numerous clubs and could eventually be installed as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s successor at Southampton, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

Saints underwent a change in ownership last month, with Sport Republic securing a controlling stake in the south coast club, and it appears they could be forced to look for a new manager in the not-too-distant future due to Hasenhuttl’s long-term St Mary’s future being thrown into serious doubt.

What’s the latest news involving Hasenhuttl?

Hasenhuttl has told German outlet Kicker, via The Athletic, that he will consider retiring from management when his current Southampton contract expires.

In the interview, Hasenhuttl suggests he has no intention of being in the dugout beyond the age of 57 and has other dreams he wants to experience away from football.

Hasenhuttl was appointed as Southampton’s boss in December 2018 and is the club’s longest-serving chief since Chris Nicholl.

The Austrian has gone on to lead Saints to 52 victories from 141 matches, with his most recent coming in the form of the 3-2 comeback win at Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

Hasenhuttl’s St Mary’s contract still has just shy of two-and-a-half years remaining as it is not due to run out until the summer of 2024.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about the situation?

O’Rourke reckons Cooper is attracting plenty of attention thanks to his exploits at Championship side Nottingham Forest.

Cooper was linked with the Southampton job in September and O’Rourke feels he could be a shrewd appointment in Hasenhuttl’s place.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “I think Steve Cooper is going to be on the radar of several clubs in the Premier League with the work that he’s doing at Nottingham Forest.

“He also did a great job at Swansea, leading them to the play-offs twice during his time there and he obviously had great success with England’s youth teams as well, winning the Under-17s World Cup. He is a top quality young manager.”

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Why is Cooper rated so highly?

Former Swansea City chief Cooper took charge of Nottingham Forest with them sitting bottom of the Championship standings in September but they now find themselves in the play-off places and vying for promotion to the Premier League.

Since the 42-year-old headed to the City Ground, they have also overcome top flight outfits Arsenal and Leicester City in the FA Cup.

Cooper has not experienced management in the Premier League yet, but he guided England to Under-17 World Cup glory in 2017.

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