Mark Hughes signs three-year deal to stay on as Southampton manager

Hughes has been handed a bumper deal keeping him at St Mary’s until 2021 as reward for saving Saints from relegation from the Premier League.

Former Stoke chief Hughes, 54, only signed until the end of the season when he replaced the hapless Mauricio Pellegrino in March.

But the club’s Chinese owners were impressed with the way he has guided Saints out of relegation danger and want him to remain as manager.

Hughes said: “Mark, Eddie and I are thrilled to have signed long-term contracts with the club. It was the only option we considered, having spent the last eight weeks with the club.

“Now it is vital that we take the unbelievable support we received from the fans during the last few games into next season.

“The staff and the players will work hard every day to deliver the success this club deserves, and with everyone pulling together we will achieve our goals.”

Chairman Ralph Krueger described Hughes as a ‘perfect fit’ for the south coast side last week.

The Welshman’s assistants Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki have also been given full-time deals.

Hughes will now step up his attempts to raid old club Stoke for Swiss playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri.

Midfielder Shaqiri joined the Potters when Hughes was in charge and is looking for a move after they dropped into the Championship.

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Meanwhile, Saints have announced they will visit China in pres-season to take part in the the Club Super Cup.

They will fly out on June 30 ahead of games against Bundesliga runners-up Schalke and Jiangsu Suning.

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