Southampton have lost a large number of players to their domestic rivals in the past few years and club chairman Ralph Krueger said earlier in the season that they were keen to end the perception that they were a selling club.
Southampton have sacked manager Mauricio Pellegrino nine months after appointing the Argentine as the successor to Claude Puel.
Last night the club confirmed Pellegrino had been relieved of his duties as first-team manager, and the 46-year-old leaves them just one point above the relegation zone with eight matches left to be played.
"We would like to place on record our thanks to Mauricio, Carlos and Xavier for their efforts during their time with Southampton, and wish them well for the future".
The sacking of Pellegrino raises questions once more about Southampton's decision to fire Puel last summer.
"The club will look to appoint a new management team as soon as possible", the club said in a brief statement, "with the search for a replacement already underway".
Hughes has taken charge of almost 450 Premier League matches for Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR and Stoke.
Despite having being sacked by the FA in September 2017, the former Bolton boss was back in work in December 2017 taking over at Crystal Palace, where he ultimately helped achieve a 14th place finish for the Eagles.
The team, who are now one point outside the relegation zone, have taken on the form of their coach in recent months in that they've become nearly entirely anonymous, with no recognisable approach or identity to speak of.
Former Watford boss Marco Silva was instantly linked with a swift return to the top flight, but he is no longer the favourite to take the job.