Southampton boss Gordon Strachan has quit the Premiership club on Friday.
The club have released a statement confirming that Strachan has left three months ahead of his planned departure. Meanwhile, reserve team boss Steve Wigley will take over until the end of the season.
“This is a truly great club with a truly great squad of professionals and it is with regret that I am leaving for my own reasons,” Strachan told the club’s website.
“Steve Wigley will do a first class job between now and the end of the season and I fully support his interim appointment.
“The chairman and I feel this to be the best course of action.
“I hope the media will now allow the club to fully concentrate on the remaining fixtures of this season while the chairman works to appoint my successor.”
Strachan intended step-down at the end of the season on health grounds – but there has been speculation that a successor is set to be unveiled imminently – with former boss Glenn Hoddle tipped for a return to St Marys.
Hoddle held talks with chairman Rupert Lowe this week and admitted he was keen to return to the club he left in 2001.
“Gordon and I met and have both concluded that it is in the best interests of the club for him to step down as manager with effect from Friday,” said Lowe.
“Gordon has done a great job for us during his two-and-a-half years tenure and, unusually in football, leaves us on the very best of terms.
“He and his family will always be welcome at our club while I remain chairman.”