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Southampton have appointed Plymouth manager Paul Sturrock as their new boss.

The club have called a news conference when the 47-year-old Scot will be unveiled as the successor to Gordon Strachan.

Sturrock signed a new five-year contract at Plymouth in the summer but ncluded in the deal was a clause allowing him to talk to a Premiership club.

Plymouth vice-chairman Peter Jones said: “We’re desperately sad to lose him, but these opportunities do not come along very often.

“I think it would be difficult for any manager with real talent and real ambition to turn down the chance to manage a decent club – and let’s be honest, Southampton are a decent club.

“It’s not often a man gets the chance to pit his wits against Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson and so forth.

“If Paul wants to go, we can’t stop him. Our whole relationship with Paul has been one which has been based on trust and openness, and that remains the case.

“However, we are slightly surprised at Southampton’s actions, given their history with Tottenham Hotspur.”

After a playing career at Dundee United, Sturrock began his managerial career in 1993 at St Johnstone. He returned to Dundee United as manager in 1998, and resigned two matches into the 2000-2001 season.

Plymouth appointed him in October of that year and he led Argyle to the Division Three title in the 2001-02 season. This season, Plymouth look on course for another promotion, sitting on top of Division Two with 12 matches of the current campaign remaining.

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