The Mirror calls it a meltdown. The Telegraph: a crisis. Implosion was Graham's word. Whatever it may be, it's (potentially) highly intriguing, especially considering all the lovely talent that's been amassed at Southampton.
While we were celebrating Matic Day, down on the South Coast, darker things were afoot. Nicola Cortese - never one too far from controversy or a fallout, to be fair - the chairman who has overseen Southampton's rise from a club that hardly anyone cared about outside of the local area to one that stood as a model of everything that's good and imitable about running a Premier League club, has suddenly resigned.
While Southampton's excellent start to the season has faded in recent months and a challenge for European spots looks ever less likely, they are still arguably the best "feel-good" story for a neutral. A club who were best known for selling top talent (Bale, Walcott, just to name a couple) were actually holding on to them, while bringing in appropriate reinforcements at both the playing and managerial levels.
Now, if the press are to be believed, all that is in danger. Mauricio Pochettino is set to quit, according to the Mirror, as the new chairman is the owner and she's supposedly looking to sell. Rickie Lambert already looks on his way to West Ham and he's far from the best talent that might catch the eyes of Premier League suitors. Luke Shaw's tweet certainly wouldn't inspire future confidence in me if I were a Saints fan.
Gutted with that news, but would just like to thank Nicola Cortese for everything he has done for me and the club! All the best to him!— Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw3) January 15, 2014
Shaw's price tag is said to be around £20m and that's not a trivial amount regardless if the owners are truly looking to cash in on their assets or not. Sure, it is just speculation. It's not the worst speculation however and it's easy to see how this could be an ideal time for Chelsea (alongside Manchester United and Manchester City and basically anybody else with the proper funds) to make a play.