Southampton close to appointing Martin as Selles exits


Russell Martin Head Coach of Swansea City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Swansea City and Huddersfield Town at Liberty Stadium on April 15, 2023 in Swansea, Wales.

Southampton are close to announcing the appointment of Swansea City head coach Russell Martin as their new boss.

Saints have turned to Martin as they rebuild following Premier League relegation, with the 37-year-old set to replace the departing Ruben Selles.

They have confirmed the Spaniard’s contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of the season.

Former Scotland defender Martin will be joined at Southampton by some members of his Swansea backroom team.

Southampton will pay compensation for Martin and his staff, whose Swansea contracts run until 2024.

Martin had been due to travel to the USA last week for talks about his future with Swansea’s American ownership group, but the trip was called off.

He has said on a number of occasions he would be interested in extending his stay in Wales, but no new deal materialised.

Former Norwich City captain Martin signed a three-year contract when he left MK Dons to succeed Steve Cooper at Swansea in August 2021.

He led Swansea to 15th in his first year as a Championship boss and then 10th in the campaign which has just finished.

Swansea began the season with promise, climbing as high as fourth in October, before a long slump in form which preceded a rousing finish, with Martin’s side ending 2022-23 with a nine-game unbeaten run.

His team played the sort of possession football which has been the club’s trademark for much of the last 15 years, with his commitment to that style believed to appeal to Southampton’s hierarchy.

In a short statement announcing that 39-year-old Selles would be leaving, Southampton said: “The club wants to place on record its thanks to Ruben for taking on the managerial position at a difficult time for the club and for giving his all as we attempted to stay in the Premier League.

“Ruben will take charge of the team for the final game against Liverpool on Sunday at St Mary’s. We wish him all the best for his future career.”

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