SOUTHAMPTON manager Mauricio Pochettino's future at the club appears to be in serious doubt after key ally Nicola Cortese quit his post as the Saints' executive chairman.
The Premier League outfit announced in a statement last night that Cortese's resignation had been accepted and that their owner Katharina Liebherr had taken on the role of non-executive chairman, with the search having begun for a new chief executive officer.
Reports have suggested Cortese actually tendered his resignation earlier this season in the autumn and there was talk of the 45-year-old Italian considering his position back in May.
At that time, Pochettino warned he would leave Southampton if Cortese chose to do so.
The Argentinian manager, who was appointed as successor to Nigel Adkins in January 2013, said in May: "I would not understand staying in this role if Nicola was not here.
"I have great respect as well for Southampton, the club and the supporters, but Nicola has been the one that has placed his trust and faith in me.
"We are on the same wavelength about the club and the future of the club so it really would not make any sense if I was at this club and he was not."
Pochettino was scheduled to hold his regular pre-match press conference this afternoon ahead of ninth-placed Southampton's trip to Sunderland on Saturday.