Frenchman favourite for Southampton job

Frenchman Claude Puel is the frontrunner to become Southampton’s new boss amid reports he has spoken to the club about the role.

Southampton: Frenchman favourite for Southampton jobSouthampton: Frenchman favourite for Southampton job

The 54-year-old is a free agent having departed French side Nice at the end of last season, with Puel leaving on a high as he secured Europa League qualification with a fourth-place finish.

Previously, Puel was in charge of Monaco, guiding the principality club to the French title in 2000, before successful spells at Lille and Lyon, with the former defensive midfielder taking the latter to the Champions League semi-finals in 2010.

Puel is now the new favourite to succeed Ronald Koeman at St Mary’s in what would be his first job outside of France.

Puel is said to have spoken to Southampton about taking over as manager and could be appointed as early as next week.

Saints have cooled their interest in other candidates including Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, Walter Zenga and Fenerbahce coach Vitor Pereira.

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