Premier League club 'hold talks' with manager of Leeds United's promotion rivals following earlier resignation

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Southampton have been embroiled in uncertainty since the turn of the year and face Leeds United on the final day of the season.

Southampton are facing yet more uncertainty with reports suggesting their manager, Russell Martin, has held talks with Brighton regarding a potential move.

Brighton will almost certainly be on the lookout for a new manager this summer, with current boss Roberto De Zerbi expected to make the step up to a Champions League club amid interest from Liverpool and Bayern Munich. The south coast outfit have built a reputation as shrewd operators and plans are already thought to be underway to find the Italian’s successor.

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And that search looks to have sent them towards Southampton with Football Transfers reporting that the Seagulls held talks with Martin during the March international break. There is no suggestion that anything has been decided but the Saints boss is highly-regarded by those in charge at the AMEX, having deployed a similar style of football at St. Mary’s.

The report has fuelled more uncertainty surrounding Southampton, who last month saw director of football Jason Wilcox hand in his resignation amid interest from Manchester United. The Old Trafford club believe they have offered enough to trigger a release clause but Southampton are said to be frustrated at the timing, given they remain in hunt for promotion back into the top-flight.

Wilcox hired Martin as manager last summer, following relegation, and the pair have been key to turning around a club who finished bottom of the Premier League. Their previous connections were also central to the arrivals of Shea Charles and Taylor Harwood-Bellis from Manchester City, as well as Ryan Manning from Swansea.

Martin admitted on Monday that the most likely route to promotion for his side will come via the play-offs, although Leeds United manager Daniel Farke insisted that the automatic race is still a four-team battle. Southampton currently sit 11 points behind the Whites but have two games in hand.

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Leeds welcome the Saints to Elland Road on the final day of the regular season, with the automatic promotion race widely expected to go to the wire. Defeat at Coventry City saw Farke’s side drop out of the top two but they have consecutive home games against bottom-half opposition this week, hoping to heap pressure on Ipswich Town and Leicester City.