Southampton didn't exactly have a bad season with an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League better than many had predicted. Nevertheless a 1-0 defeat at home to Stoke City on the final day of the campaign was met with a loud chorus of boos from the home support at the final whistle and manager Claude Puel has made no secret of the fact that he expects to be sacked before the end of the week.
Indeed the former Lyon and Monaco coach has been holding talks with St Etienne and with Southampton already searching for a successor, it appears unlikely that Puel will avoid being sacked at St Mary's. The 55-year-old has two years left on his contract although he is far from popular with a sizeable section of the club's supporter base and it was rumoured that the Saints were courting the services of Marco Silva following his departure from Hull City. His move to Watford thwarted those hopes however.
Should Puel leave for pastures new, he would be the fifth Premier League manager to vacate his position since the end of the season. An early frontrunner to replace Puel is former Leeds United boss Garry Monk who resigned from his position at Elland Road just five days ago. Monk was only in charge of the Whites for one season and despite the side enjoying some excellent results, they ultimately failed in their aim of reaching the play-offs. Monk has been linked with moves to Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Crystal Palace, however one feels that he would jump at the chance to move to a side which finished in the top-half of the Premier League table.
Former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri has been twiddling his thumbs since his departure from the King Power Stadium earlier last season and he sits next in the betting at 4/1. Ranieri has a proven track record with the Foxes and he would certainly prove a popular choice as would former Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew at 11/1.
Next Southampton manager - Best Odds
17/10 - Garry Monk
4/1 - Claudio Ranieri
11/1 - Alan Pardew
12/1 - Roy Hodgson
14/1 - Roberto Mancini
14/1 - Brendan Rodgers