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Leicester's sights set on Rodgers as Puel shown the door


Sacked: Claude Puel. Photo: PA

Sacked: Claude Puel. Photo: PA

Sacked: Claude Puel. Photo: PA

Leicester are ready to make an official approach for Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers after ending the turbulent reign of Claude Puel.

Rodgers is the No 1 target to replace Puel and Leicester are prepared to pay around £7.5 million in compensation to offer him a return to the Premier League.

Puel was dismissed after seven defeats in the past nine games, with his final 12 months having been played out against a backdrop of player unrest over his methods and training regime.

After Saturday's 4-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace, striker Jamie Vardy punched a dressing-room door and suffered heavy bruising as anger mounted over another humiliation at the King Power Stadium.

Rodgers is understood to have been tentatively approached by Leicester already this season, but insisted he wanted to finish the campaign with Celtic.

Leicester, however, have identified him as the leading candidate to take the club forward and a move is expected imminently.

It would cost £6 million to prise Rodgers away from Celtic in the summer, although the compensation figure at this stage of the season would be considerably higher.

Rodgers has spent nearly three years with Celtic, winning seven trophies, and yesterday insisted he was focused only on them.

"My job is to concentrate on the football aspect, and that is with Celtic," he said.

"I've been stood here for two-and-a-half years and been asked similar questions. My message is always very, very clear, I'm very concentrated on the game."

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When Puel's £2m-a-year contract was terminated, it ended a 16-month reign and left Leicester looking for their fourth permanent manager in just under two years.

Puel was on the brink around the Christmas period, but surprise wins over Chelsea and Manchester City earned him a stay of execution.

However, the FA Cup exit to League Two club Newport County and defeats at home against Cardiff, Southampton and Palace prompted the board to act.

Puel has battled against unrest in the dressing room since the beginning of last year, and his relationship with Vardy was particularly fractious.

There have been other big issues, such as Puel's alleged refusal to communicate with staff and players, the constant chopping and changing of his team without explanation and his hardline approach with young players.

Coaching staff and players were frequently ignored when they attempted to make points about amending the training regime.

Puel is also believed to have frozen Jon Rudkin, the director of football, out of meetings in recent weeks as he became more isolated.

© Daily Telegraph

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