Southampton have appointed Austrian Ralph Hasenhuttl on a 2-1/2 year contract to replace the sacked Mark Hughes as manager, the struggling Premier League club said in a statement on Wednesday.

Southampton fired Welshman Hughes after a 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United last weekend left the south-coast club in the relegation zone with one win from 14 league matches.

Hasenhuttl guided newly-promoted RB Leipzig to second place in the Bundesliga in the 2016-17 season before leaving the club in May this year after a dispute over a new contract.

The 51-year-old ex-Austria forward will be Saints' fourth manager in two years with Claude Puel and Mauricio Pellegrino also being sacked since Ronald Koeman left for Everton in 2016.

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