Claude Puel confirmed as new Southampton manager

Southampton's new manager Claude Puel pictured at The Staplewood Campus, 29 June 2016 (mandatory picture caption credit: Southampton FC)
Image: Claude Puel is presented as Southampton's new manager (picture courtesy of Southampton Football Club)

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.

'Puel can push Saints on again'

'Puel can push Saints on again'

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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.

French journalist Damien Dubras believes Southampton's new manager Claude Puel was the 'last good coach left in France'

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.

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"The challenge for me, and for the club also, is to continue the good results and to play games every three days.

Nice's French head coach Claude Puel looka on during the French Ligue 1 football match Guingamp against Nice on May 14, 2016 at the Roudourou stadium in Gu
Image: Puel spent the past four years in charge of Nice

"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.

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"I hope that it's a possibility in the future for Southampton to play in the Champions League."

Southampton's new manager Claude Puel, with executive director of football Les Reed (left) and chief executive Gareth Rogers, 29 June 2016
Image: Puel with Saints executive director of football Les Reed (left) and chief executive Gareth Rogers (picture: Southampton Football Club)

Puel's backroom staff will include Eric Black, who will be assistant manager, and Pascal Plancque, who becomes assistant coach.

Eric Black
Image: Former Aston Villa boss Eric Black is joining as Puel's assistant

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. 

Former Southampton striker Matt Le Tissier has called on fans to support the club's decision to appoint Claude Puel as their new manager

"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."

Lyon's coach Claude Puel ( L) congratulates forward Karim Benzema
Image: Karim Benzema (right) worked under Puel at Lyon

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.

Ronald Koeman, Everton press conference, Finch Farm
Image: Ronald Koeman left Southampton to take over at Everton

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