Preston North End, Burnley, Blackpool and Wigan Athletic's Championship rivals could be losing their manager to Premier League Southampton

Preston North End, Burnley, Blackpool and Wigan Athletic's Championship rivals Luton Town could be losing their manager to Southampton.

Nathan Jones was quickly installed as the favourite for the job with the Saints, and Luton have since confirmed they have given the Welshman permission to speak to the top flight outfit.

However, talks can only take place after Luton’s game against Stoke City on Tuesday, where a win could see the Hatters move into the play-off places.

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Last season’s beaten play-off semi finalists, Jones’ side had a poor start to the season, winning once in their opening nine games. They have since rallied and climbed the table considerably, last beating Blackpool 1-0 at the weekend.

Luton Town's manager Nathan Jones

Jones would replace Ralph Hassenhuttl who was sacked by Southampton on Monday morning with one win in his last nine games in charge.

It would be the second time the 49-year-old has left Kenilworth Road, initially departing as Luton looked set to win promotion from League One to join Stoke City in 2019.

It did not work out at the Potters and, having sealed their promotion to the Championship, he was reappointed in May 2020 steering the Hatters away from relegation before finishing in mid table the season before last. Jones could be on his way out again, but not before facing his former club.

Luton were actually appreciative of the way Southampton have gone about making an approach for their manager, their statement read: "Luton Town Football Club can confirm that permission has been granted to Southampton to speak to Nathan Jones about their managerial vacancy following the Hatters’ match at Stoke City.

“We would like to place on record that the Premier League club have approached the board in the correct manner, for which we are grateful, and that the whole situation is extremely amicable with Southampton and with Nathan.”