Wednesday 12 December 2018

Former Southampton manager Claude Puel confirmed as new Leicester boss

Claude Puel, Manager of Southampton looks on during the Premier League match between Southampton and Stoke City at St Mary's Stadium on May 21, 2017 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Claude Puel, Manager of Southampton looks on during the Premier League match between Southampton and Stoke City at St Mary's Stadium on May 21, 2017 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Claude Puel is Leicester's new manager, the Premier League club have announced.

Just 133 days after being sacked by Southampton, the 56-year-old Frenchman is back in a Premier League hotseat.

Puel has been confirmed as Craig Shakespeare's successor at Leicester, penning a deal at the King Power Stadium until June 2020.

The former defensive midfielder's first match at the Foxes helm will be Sunday's home game against Everton, while the club has confirmed Michael Appleton will retain his role as assistant manager.

"It's a great privilege to become the new manager of Leicester City - a club whose values and ambitions are closely aligned to my own," Puel said.

"The opportunity to help the club build on its remarkable recent achievements is a truly exciting one and I'm looking forward to working with the owners, players, staff and supporters to deliver further lasting success."

Puel moved into management with Monaco - the only club he represented as a player - in 1999 and won the Ligue 1 crown the following year.

Spells with Lille, Lyon and Nice followed before the 56-year-old replaced Ronald Koeman as Saints boss in 2016.

Despite leading the club to the EFL Cup final and eighth in the Premier League, frustrations behind the scenes and in the stands led to the end of Puel's Southampton reign in June.

However, Leicester were attracted rather than put off by his one-season stint at St Mary's, with vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha suitably impressed.

"When we began the process of identifying a new manager, the board quickly established the profile of candidate we needed to take the club forward and Claude Puel was a perfect fit," Srivaddhanaprabha said.

"Upon meeting Claude, his attention to detail, knowledge of our squad, understanding of our potential and his vision to help us realise it were extremely impressive.

"He quickly emerged as the outstanding candidate and I am delighted we will have the opportunity to reinforce our long-term vision, aided significantly by his expertise."

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