Southampton axe Hasenhuttl, target Jones

Southampton have sacked manager Ralph Hasenhuttl following their 4-1 Premier League home defeat to Newcastle United.

Luton boss Nathan Jones is the targeted replacement and the Saints have been granted permission to speak to the 49-year-old after the Hatters' Championship match at Stoke City on Tuesday.

Southampton have slipped into the relegation zone after six defeats in their past nine games.

Jones has done an impressive job at Luton in the Championship on a tight budget and led them to the play-offs last season.

The former Brighton full-back, who originally took over at Kenilworth Road in 2016 and had a brief spell at Stoke before returning, has guided them to eighth this term.

The club said: "We would also like to urge all supporters travelling to Stoke to show him and the team your support on what we hope will be yet another memorable away day.

Austrian Hasenhuttl had almost four years in charge and had survived both ownership change and two 9-0 defeats, at Manchester United and at home to Leicester City.

A Southampton statement read: "Southampton Football Club can confirm it has parted company with men's first-team manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

"Hasenhuttl, who was appointed in December 2018, departs having made a significant contribution to the club, overseeing some memorable results and also playing a key role in the development of our club infrastructure, identity and playing squad.

"However, we now believe it is an appropriate time to make a change."

With assistant coach Richard Kitzbichler also axed first-team lead coach Ruben Selles will take charge for the Saints' League Cup tie with third-tier Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday night.

Southampton's subsequent match, which could be Jones' first in their dug-out, is at Liverpool on Saturday.

- with AP