Head coach George Burley has revealed that midfielder Dennis Wise has left Southampton after he failed to be appointed as the club's new manager.
Wise was hoping to replace Harry Redknapp but Burley was named as head coach with Sir Clive Woodward working alongside him as director of football.
"I spoke to Dennis on Friday and was keen for him to stay," Burley said.
"Dennis trained on Friday, but then came in on Saturday and said he didn't think it was right for him to stay."
Wise had earlier been criticised by Saints chairman Rupert Lowe, who denied that Wise - who had assisted caretaker boss Dave Bassett after Harry Redknapp's departure - had been assured the job.
Lowe told the club website: "He has not behaved well and the fact he has taken it with bad grace shows it's the right decision. It smacks of sour grapes.
"Dennis was given a proper interview with Guy Askham and me along with several other candidates.
"The board had to make sure we were happy with his coaching and leadership credentials and compare him with the other options.
"We always made it clear he was not guaranteed the job and I asked him if he would be prepared to carry on as a player if he did not get it.
"He said he would be happy to continue playing as long as the new manager wanted him so no way was he misled."
Burley added: "Dennis was disappointed, which is understandable.
"He can still do a good job on the football field, but at the end of the day you have to be mentally right for the job, and he told me he was not on Saturday, so you have got to respect his decision."