Dutchman favourite for Saints job after exit at Feyenoord

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The Independent Football

Mark Wotte has emerged as the surprise favourite to take over as the manager of Southampton. However, the 45-year-old Dutchman, who yesterday resigned as Feyenoord's technical director, is still understood to be up against at least three other candidates.

The Southampton chairman, Rupert Lowe, interviewed one last night and is due to see two others today. He will present his recommendation to a meeting of the club's board tomorrow.

Lowe is also believed to have not ruled out offering the job to Dennis Wise, now a player at Southampton and the former manager of Millwall. He has, however, dismissed the candidacy of the caretaker manager, Dave Bassett.

Whoever is chosen will certainly be Lowe's appointment and it is believed that Wotte has interviewed well and proven to be a strong contender. The former Utrecht and Willem II coach is also comfortable with the idea of working with Southampton's performance director, Sir Clive Woodward.

Wotte has told Feyenoord that he wants to return to coaching and a more hands-on role. Sources at Southampton deny he has been offered a four-year contract. Feyenoord's marketing director, Chris Woerts, said last night: "That's none of our business. We heard his request. Mark says he has an urge to stand on the field again and that to us was a more than clear signal."

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