By Wayne Veysey

18th Nov, 2022 | 9:57am

Sources: Southampton agree Nathan Jones deal - at second time of asking for Ankersen

Southampton recruitment guru Rasmus Ankersen tried to lure Nathan Jones when he was at Brentford, sources have told Football Insider.

The Saints announced the appointment of Jones, 49, last week as the replacement for sacked Ralph Hasenhuttl.

It sparked surprise among Southampton fans given that the Welshman had never managed in the Premier League before during a six-year managerial career spent in the Championship, League One and League Two.

It can be revealed that Jones had previously been targeted by Southampton director of football Ankersen when he was in the same role at his former club Brentford, during their EFL days.

Ankersen, who spent over six years at the London outfit, tried to lure Jones during his first period as manager of Luton.

The Dane stepped down at Brentford in December 2021, shortly before joining Southampton as part of the takeover by Sports Republic.

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Ankersen is the CEO of the newly-minted company – which has also overseen a takeover of Turkish club Goztepe.

Jones took charge of his first-ever Premier League game on Saturday (12 November) – a 3-1 loss against Liverpool at Anfield.

The ex-Brighton left-back brought coaches Chris Cohen and Alan Sheehan to St Mary’s from Luton.

His appointment sparked mass scepticism among Southampton fans due to his limited experience at the top level.

Jones’ only spell away from Luton, an ill-fated 11-month spell at Stoke, ended in disaster after he won just six of his 38 games in charge of the club.

However, he has promised to install an “aggressive” and “front-footed” brand of football at Southampton in order to steer them clear of the drop this season.

The Saints currently sit 19th in the table, two points from safety.

They face Lincoln in the League Cup after the mid-season World Cup break, before returning to league action against Brighton on Boxing Day.

In other news, Football Insider updates as Southampton offered Liverpool star in January.