Mark Hughes is in advanced talks to become the next Southampton manager, Sky sources understand.
The 54-year-old, who made just over 50 appearances for Saints as a player, is the leading candidate to take over at St Mary's following the sacking of Mauricio Pellegrino on Monday night.
Southampton are hoping to have Pellegrino's successor in place for Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final against Wigan Athletic.
Hughes was dismissed by Stoke City just two months ago, with the Potters in the bottom three following a poor run of form. But they had three ninth-place finishes under the Welshman before finishing 13th last term.
Hughes began his managerial career with the Wales national team and subsequently managed Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham and QPR. He has never been relegated from the top flight as a manager.
Hughes will arrive to find Southampton languishing 17th in the Premier League after just one win in 17 top-flight matches.
Southampton were beaten 3-0 by Newcastle United at the weekend and head to West Ham United on March 31 in their next Premier League match.
Hughes will have eight games to help Southampton avoid relegation.