May 16, 2018 / 4:09 AM / 9 months ago

Soccer: Southampton in talks to extend manager Hughes' stay - chairman

Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton vs Manchester City - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - May 13, 2018 Southampton manager Mark Hughes acknowledges fans during a lap of appreciation after the match Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

(Reuters) - Southampton are eager for manager Mark Hughes to sign a new contract at St. Mary’s after helping the club escape Premier League relegation in the closing stages of the season, chairman Ralph Krueger has said.

Former Stoke City boss Hughes signed a short-term deal at Southampton in March and helped the Saints retain their top-flight status despite ending the season with a 1-0 defeat by champions Manchester City last weekend.

“We began conversations after the Swansea game and they continue this week and they are good conversations,” Krueger told Sky Sports.

“He came in with his group and they just fit like a glove. They embraced the Southampton culture and our values and they felt aligned immediately and they were just part of the fabric within 10 days - it was crazy.

“Hopefully we can come together and grow with this.”

Hughes guided Southampton to two wins and two draws in his eight league matches in charge and the latest of those victories, a 1-0 triumph at Swansea City, helped the Saints grab a 17th-placed finish while the Welsh side were relegated.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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