Southampton are looking for a new manager, after the Saints sacked their manager Claude Puel after just one season in charge at St. Mary’s Stadium.
The 55-year-old took charge last summer after Ronald Koeman left Southampton to take charge at Everton and he guided the club to the League Cup final and an eighth place finish in the Premier League.
Southampton posted a short statement on the club’s website, confirming that Puel’s contract had been terminated with immediate effect and wished him well for the future.
“Everyone at Southampton would like to express our thanks to Claude for his hard work and commitment this year. The highlight of the season was a memorable day at Wembley in the EFL Cup Final, a day our fans will always treasure.
“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 Frenchman guided the Saints to a first major cup final since 2003 back in February, where they put up a tough fight in a 3-2 defeat against Man United at Wembley.
Despite an eighth place finish in the Premier League, Southampton managed just one win in their final eight games, including scoring just one goal in their final six outings.
Puel previously spent four years with French club Nice prior to taking charge at Southampton last summer and has also managed fellow French sides Lille, Lyon and Monaco, the latter which he guided to the Ligue 1 title in 2000.
It is still very early days with regards to bookies predicting the next man to take charge at St. Marys Stadium, but early names floating around include ex-Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel and former Inter Milan gaffer Frank DeBoer.
While I am not overly surprised Claude Puel has been given the boot by Southampton, but I do think he has been treated harshly considering he did a very good job in his one season in charge.
They finished in the top-half yet again in the Premier League and reached the EFL Cup final where they narrowly lost out to Man United, but it seems the owners have very ambitious plans for Southampton to do even better.
Thomas Tuchel is a very early favourite to take charge, while De Boer and Laurent Blanc’s names have also been mentioned. Whoever takes over from Puel, we need to first hang onto the club’s best players and keep Liverpool away from taking more Saints’ players to Anfield.
Southampton do have a decent squad but they cannot really sell the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Manolo Gabbiadini, if they want to push higher up the table and qualify for Europa League football next season.