Southampton are set to unveil Claude Puel as their new manager soonest according to reports from the British press.
Puel will be taking over a club as the replacement for Ronald Koeman following the Dutch mans move to Everton.Puel has never worked outside of France, having spent his playing career at Monaco, where he was coached by Arsène Wenger, before making his management debut in the principality. He won Ligue 1 in 2000 and then went on to enjoy a six-year spell at Lille, before taking over at Lyon and leading them to the Champions League semi-finals. He has spent the last four years as the coach of Nice, who last season finished fourth in Ligue 1.
The Frenchman should be in place for the start of pre-season training tomorrow, when the likes of James Ward-Prowse, Jay Rodriguez, Charlie Austin and Oriol Romeu will attend his first session at Staplewood.Puel has a close ally in Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, for whom he worked closely with at Monaco as a player and coach, and he will likely call upon him as he settles in at St Mary’s.
The 54-year-old ticked many boxes for Saints during an extensive hiring process.His experience in European football is a major plus for Saints as they head into the Europa League group stages next term.Supporters’ favourite Pellegrini and former Roma and Lille boss Rudi Garcia were considered by Saints, but neither of them represented an ideal fit – while Vitor Pereira of Fenerbahce was also ruled out.
AFC Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe was another that Saints looked at but decided against.After initial training sessions at Staplewood, Puel will take Saints to a pre-season training camp in America for a week from July 11.