• Premier League

Koeman tops Southampton wishlist after Laudrup snub

ESPN staff
June 4, 2014
Ronald Koeman has an impressive record in his 14-year managerial career © AP

Ronald Koeman is in pole position to take over as Southampton manager, with Michael Laudrup dropping out of the running after deciding he wants to manage a "big club".

Koeman, 51, is a free agent having left Feyenoord after leading the Rotterdam club to second in Erividivisie and met Southampton officials on Monday.

But although Southampton, who lost Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham last week, intend to talk to other manager, it is understood the 51-year-old former Ajax, Benfica and Valencia manager is regarded as the leading candidate due to his attacking philosophy and record of bringing through young talent.

Michael Laudrup ended Swansea City's 101-year wait for silverware © PA Photos

In 14 years as a manager, Koeman won three Dutch titles with Ajax and PSV Eindhoven, as well as the Copa del Rey during his season in Spain. He finished second, third and second again in his three years at Feyenoord.

As a player, he won the Champions League with both Ajax and Barcelona, as well as the 1988 European Championship with Holland. But he is perhaps best known in England for his controversial part in a 2-0 win that effectively ended Graham Taylor's men's chances of qualifying for the 1994 World Cup.

Laudrup, meanwhile, was sacked by Swansea last season and is talking to clubs in Spain and England - but he says he is keen to take the step up to the next level in his coaching career.

"I will try to not sound arrogant now, because I am not, but it has been clubs on a level where I have already been," he told Politiken.

"I have tried smaller clubs in the two big leagues, Getafe and Mallorca in Spain and Swansea in the Premier League. Therefore, I do not see any reason to repeat it.

"That leaves with me two options: to wait for an offer from a big club or accept one the offers I have received from clubs outside Europe."

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