(Reuters) - Southampton have parted company with their Argentine manager Mauricio Pellegrino after just one win in their last 17 Premier League games, the south-coast club said on Monday.
Pellegrino took over in June to replace sacked Frenchman Claude Puel but after a 3-0 loss to Newcastle United on Saturday they are one place and one point above the relegation zone.
“Southampton Football Club can today confirm that it has parted company with first team Manager Mauricio Pellegrino,” Southampton said in a statement.
“The club will look to appoint a new management team as soon as possible with the search for a replacement already underway.”
Former Stoke City manager Mark Hughes, ex-Watford boss Marco Silva and former West Ham United head coach Slaven Bilic are the frontrunners in the betting to take over at St Mary’s Stadium.
Only Harry Redknapp and Steve Wigley have a worse points-per-game record among Southampton managers in the Premier League than 46-year-old former Argentina defender Pellegrino.
Saints visit third-tier Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday but their next league game is not until March 31 when they travel to relegation rivals West Ham United.
They have won just five league games this season and their 3-2 victory at West Bromwich Albion, who are bottom of the table, in February is their only league win since November.
Southampton, who are the ninth Premier League club to change manager this term, are in their sixth straight season in the top flight and have not finished lower than 14th in that time.
They finished eighth for the fourth successive season in the previous campaign and also reached the League Cup final which they narrowly lost to Manchester United at Wembley in February 2017.
Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Pritha Sarkar