Southampton boss Hasenhuttl addresses links with Manchester United hot seat

Ralph Hasenhuttl Southampton
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The Austrian head coach has been touted as a potential successor for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after impressing in his role at St Mary's

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has addressed links with the Manchester United hot seat ahead of a Premier League clash against the Red Devils this weekend.

Hasenhuttl has established himself as one of the best coaches in the top flight since succeeding Mark Hughes at Southampton in December 2018.

The Saints were in real danger of being relegated to the Championship when he took over, but the Austrian head coach has successfully steered them towards the top half of the table on a relatively modest transfer budget.

Hasenhuttl guided Southampton to a respectable 11th place finish last season, with only seven points separating them and the final Europa League place, and has built on that platform in impressive fashion at the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

He managed to take the club to the top of the Premier League for the first time in their history following a 2-0 win against Southampton on November 6, albeit briefly, and the Saints will be protecting a seven-match unbeaten record when they play host to Manchester United on Sunday.

In stark contrast, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's current position at Old Trafford is far from secure, with the Red Devils once again struggling for consistency despite boasting a whole host of top-class players.

The likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri have been touted as potential replacements for the Norwegian, while Hasenhuttl has been mooted as an alternative option after his outstanding work on the South Coast.

However, the 53-year-old manager played down any suggestion of being in line for the top job in Manchester during his pre-match conference, while pointing out he is currently tied to Southampton through to 2024.

"It is not really something I listen to," said Hasenhuttl when quizzed on speculation over his future. "I find myself listening to the radio when they talk about football, it is interesting to hear.

"My only interest is what happens at this club. I signed a long-term contract, the way we are improving this club gives me so much joy. I think there is something special growing here."

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Solskjaer expressed his admiration towards the Southampton head coach ahead of his side's trip to St Mary's, telling reporters: "It is similar to when Jurgen came to Liverpool. He likes pressing, front foot, aggressive.

"They are difficult to play against if you dwell on the ball. Very interesting to watch their progress under Ralph.

"I am a big admirer of the physical attributes they have in their team."

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