Southampton talks with favoured next boss ‘break down’ following dispute over contract length

Ciaran McCarthy
Jesse Marsch, Leeds United, January 2023

Talks between Southampton and ex-Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch have reportedly ‘broken down’ due to concerns over the length of his contract at the club.

It’s been a rocky season so far for the Saints. Indeed, after 22 Premier League games they’re dead bottom, and three points adrift of 19th-placed Bournemouth.

The St Mary’s outfit have struggled in each facet of the game. Only three sides have scored less than their 18 goals and only one – Bournemouth – has conceded more often.

Southampton haven’t been in a particularly strong position over the past few seasons. Indeed, they’ve failed to finish higher than 15th in any of the four seasons either side of their 11th-placed finish in 2019/20.

However, this campaign represents the greatest threat to their Premier League survival out of all of them. Things off the field have not been running too smoothly, either.

Two managers – Ralph Hasenhuttl and Nathan Jones – have departed the club this season, the latter lasting just three months in the role before being dismissed in February.

As such, Southampton are on the hunt for a man to take the hot seat and, they will hope, keep them afloat. Ex-Leeds boss Marsch emerged as the favourite for the job recently.

Despite being sacked himself by the Whites not long before Jones was let go, Southampton reportedly saw his previous experience at Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig as an attractive asset.

However, while reports suggested he was set for the job, there’s been a turnaround.

Indeed, The Telegraph reports talks between the Saints and the American coach have ‘broken down’. The report suggests that’s because they ‘did not want to award Marsch a long-term contract’.

The reasons given for that are due to the ‘sudden nature of discussions and their own precarious position, especially after the financial hit they just took on Nathan Jones’.

Indeed, they paid compensation to Luton for taking Jones from them and will now have to pay out his contract. However, it also sounds like they don’t have faith in the man they were looking to appoint as his replacement.

A long-term deal would’ve represented faith in Marsch to rebuild even if they do get relegated. Now, they might have to settle for a manager they’re less keen on, but that will agree to a short-term deal.

That means after their potential relegation, they could be on the lookout for yet another new manager.

Whether Marsch was the man to save them we may never know. However, it seems that Southampton might be giving themselves a tough task now, when things are already looking rather problematic.

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