Ronald Koeman is expected to depart Southampton this week and take up the reins at Everton. The move has shocked Saints fans and other football supporters. Firstly Koeman had always been insistent about completing his three year contract and secondly he's swapping guaranteed Europa League football for a club that needs rebuilding.
The fact that Koeman, by swapping St Mary's for Goodison, will become one of the highest paid managers in The Premier League probably shouldn't be ignored. However no matter how much money he receives it won't repair the damage he's done to his reputation. Many Southampton fans took him at his word and believed he'd not leave the club in a similar fashion to many other recent departures.
Koeman's departure though does mean that once again the St Mary's hotseat is vacant and there's another "meltdown" for supporter's to enjoy. If rumours are to be believed Les Reed and the Southampton board have already planned ahead and have a shortlist of candidates. The aim will be to keep the wheels running at St Mary's and continue the club's incredible climb since the days of Alan Pardew and League One football.
According to Coral Frank De Boer and Eddie Howe are the favourites at 7/2 to take over at Southampton. Howe has already stated that he's happy at Bournemouth and it would be a surprise if he moved along the South Coast. De Boer is available and ironically was thought to have been on Everton's shortlist. He recently left Ajax, is keen to manage in the Premier League and may see Southampton as an ideal stepping stone.
One to watch is Andres Villas-Boas - the former Chelsea and Spurs manager is 9/2 for the job. He's stated that he wants to take a sabbatical from football management but could he be tempted to change his mind? After AVB the odds start to lengthen - former Manchester City boss, Manuel Pellegrini is at 8/1, Sevilla's Unai Emery is 9/1 and David Moyes is at 10s.
Moyes is potentially a good outside punt as is Quique Sanchez Flores - the former Watford manager who's at 14/1. Whoever gets the task of marching Southampton on inherits a decent squad and one which faces an exciting season in Europe.
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