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Mark Hughes close to Southampton appointment

Sky Sports reports that Mark Hughes is close to being appointed manager of Southampton on a full-time basis, with a three-year contract on the table for the former Stoke, Manchester City and QPR boss.

Welshman Hughes took over at St. Mary’s in March on a short-term contract after former manager Mauricio Pellegrino was sacked with the club in the relegation zone, and managed to steer them to Premier League survival, as they finished 17th.

Now it looks like his reward is a new deal which will tie him to Southampton until 2021. The club’s chairman, Ralph Krueger has acknowledged their debt to Hughes saying that he had dragged them away from the “abyss” by saving them from relegation, helping them gain 11 points from 10 games to maintain their top-flight status.

Ironically enough, one of the clubs that was relegated, Stoke City, has less flattering things to say about Hughes, with many putting the blame for their club’s demise at his front door and his poor transfer policy.