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Southampton sack manager Claude Puel, who’s next?

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Southampton have announced that manager Claude Puel, who led the club to an eighth place finish in last season’s Premier League, has been sacked.

A statement on Southampton’s official website said: “Southampton can today confirm that it has terminated the contract of Claude Puel with immediate effect.

“Everyone at Southampton would like to express our thanks to Claude for his hard work and commitment this year. We wish Claude well for the future.

“The search for a new management team is underway. We are confident that we will find the right fit in line with the long-term vision of the club.”

The 55-year-old Frenchman, who succeeded Ronald Koeman at St Mary’s after his departure to Everton in the summer, oversaw a shaky league campaign in what was his first and only season in charge at the club, with his position consistently under scrutiny over the course of the season.

Sky Sports reported last week that the Saints director of football Les Reed was considering replacements after completing an end-of-season review and, with sixteen defeats from the 38 league games and finishing just eight points above 17th, chairman Ralph Kruger has wielded the axe.

Former Nice and Lyon manager Puel, who persistently refused to comment on reports that his job was under threat, also guided the south coast club to the final of the EFL Cup, where they lost 3-2 to Manchester United.

Southampton now begin the search for their sixth manager in just seven years.

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