Managerless Leicester City are reportedly interested in appointing Claude Puel as their new manager.
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Puel, 56, left Southampton at the end of last season after leading the Saints to an eighth place finish in the Premier League, the League Cup final where they lost to Liverpool and within one goal of making the UEFA Europa League knockout rounds.
Still, this is quite a shock.
Puel has had his odds slashed with bookmakers to become the next permanent Leicester boss and multiple reports suggest he has already started to talk with the Foxes about who his assistant manager will be.
Michael Appleton is currently in interim charge of Leicester and led them to a 2-1 win at Swansea City on Saturday, while Shakespeare’s former assistant manager is said to be keen to stay on in his coaching role.
Puel has a wealth of experience in Ligue 1 and European action, leading Monaco to the French title, Lille to the UEFA Champions League, Lyon to the UCL semifinals and also impressing at Nice before joining Southampton in the summer of 2016.
The slow, possession-based style of play led to a lack of goals for Southampton and Puel’s side failed to score in any of their final five home games in the Premier League last season before he was booed off the pitch at St Mary’s in his final game in charge. His lack of personality in media interviews and on the training ground was also cited as a problem at Saints.
Leicester could do a lot worse than Puel who has a fine record developing young talent as the like of Hugo Lloris, Yohan Cabaye, Eden Hazard and Alexandre Lacazette have all benefited from working with him. However, this is not the kind of appointment fans of the Foxes were expecting.
The last time they were up in arms about a managerial appointment (ahem, Claudio Ranieri) it worked out pretty well for them.