Claude Puel confirmed as new Southampton manager
Last Updated: 01/07/16 7:36am
Southampton have confirmed the appointment of Claude Puel as their new manager on a three-year deal.
The 54-year-old Frenchman takes over from Ronald Koeman following the latter's decision to move to Everton.
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Puel won the French league title when in charge of Monaco in 2000 before going on to enjoy a six-year spell at Lille.
He then took over at Lyon and led them to the Champions League semi-finals in 2010. He has spent the last four years as the coach of Nice, who last season finished fourth in Ligue 1. He has never coached outside France's top tier.
Puel, who will help steer Southampton through their first-ever Europa League group campaign, told the club's website: "I am very happy to be the new manager, because it's a good opportunity and a good challenge for me to come here.
"The challenge for me, and for the club also, is to continue the good results and to play games every three days.
"It's a new thing for the club, although not for me, because I know this, but it will be important to know the particularities of this season and I think it will be important to give success and to keep the philosophy of the club.
"I hope that it's a possibility in the future for Southampton to play in the Champions League."
Puel's backroom staff will include Eric Black, who will be assistant manager, and Pascal Plancque, who becomes assistant coach.
Dave Watson has signed a new deal to remain as part of the backroom staff, but Sammy Lee has left the club.
Executive director of football Les Reed said: "Claude clearly came out on top of a very impressive shortlist. We have not only got the best man, but the right coaching team to support him.
"Eric Black has an excellent pedigree as a coach and vast experience domestically and internationally. Pascal Plancque has an excellent record as a technical coach and, like Claude, has been responsible for developing many young French talents into top quality players.
"We are once again excited about what the new season will bring, and we will continue to chase records as we have done in recent years."
As well as the departing Koeman, Victor Wanyama has also left Southampton for Tottenham while Sadio Mane has joined Liverpool.
The club have signed Nathan Redmond from Norwich for £11m in the last week.