By Paul Jones
Russell Martin is expected to be offered the role of Southamton’s new manager next week.
That will be a huge blow to Swansea City who hoped Martin would fulfil his final contracted year as head coach and build on the team’s excellent finish to their Championship season.
Southampton – already condemned to relegation from the Premier League – are currently considering candidates, but have put Martin at the top of their list.
Martin had been expected to travel to the United States for talks with Swansea’s majority owners this week, but it appears he has chosen to remain in the UK.
He has repeatedly said he would be interested in extending his stay in Wales, but no new deal has materialised.
Russell Martin is set to become the new Southampton manager.
— Stuart James (@stujames75) May 19, 2023
After the Swans’ final match of the season a fortnight ago, Martin said: “He (new chairman Andy Coleman) said he likes what we’re doing.
“There’s maybe other priorities at the moment but we’ll see. He’s said the ownership group have expressed an interest in trying to extend my contract.
“We’ve got guys out of contract, so that’s got to be a real priority. Whatever comes first, I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
After earning praise for implementing a possession-based style during his first managerial role at MK Dons, Martin enters the final year of his contract at Swansea after finishing 15th and 10th in the Championship.
Southampton are also set for a major overhaul of their senior executive and coaching staff following their relegation from the Premier League.
Swansea City head coach Russell Martin is close to being named Southampton manager.
— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) May 19, 2023
Jason Wilcox has been appointed as the new director of football, and Matt Crocker and Toby Steele will be departing their respective positions as director of football operations and managing director.
The club will have transfer funds available from majority owner Dragan Solak, as well as parachute payments and potential income from player sales.
Former Norwich City captain Martin signed a three-year contract when he left MK Dons to succeed Steve Cooper at Swansea in August 2021.
Martin would become Southampton’s fourth permanent manager within the space of 12 months following Ralph Hasenhuttl, Nathan Jones and current caretaker Rubin Selles.
Russell Martin has not travelled to the US to meet Swansea's owners as previously planned.
Southampton are serious admirers of the Swansea head coach.
— Ian Mitchelmore (@IanMitchelmore) May 19, 2023