Ralph Hasenhuttl is in danger of losing his job as Southampton manager as the club’s owners weigh up making a managerial change.
The Austrian coach’s future has been dogged by uncertainty for approaching 12 months, but the Saints are understood to be now seriously considering his position.
In the event of Hasenhuttl’s departure, Southampton will conduct a full recruitment procedure.
However, one manager that is likely to interest Southampton is Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper, who has a successful history of nurturing young talent - a trait aligned with the club’s ethos.
Cooper remains in position at the City Ground, which could impact any move from Southampton to appoint the former England Under-19 chief.
However, Cooper’s future at Forest is also uncertain amid tensions with owner Evangelos Marinakis and the fact they are bottom of the Premier League following a run of five straight defeats.
But it remains to be seen whether Cooper emerges as the priority target for Southampton.
The Saints face Manchester City this weekend but the timing of Hasenhuttl’s expected departure remains to be seen.
Hasenhuttl has had to battle concerns from inside the Saints dressing room over his management style, with his relationship with a number of players said to be strained.
Indeed, the club were believed to have considered relieving the respected coach of his duties at various junctures over the previous 12 months.
But the club decided to stick with the Hasenhuttl, with the cost of dismissing him and his coaching team said to be factor.
However, the 55-year-old is now in serious danger of losing his job, with many believing it is now a matter of when not if he leaves St Mary’s.