Puel takes charge of Saints

Southampton have confirmed former Nice boss Claude Puel as their new manager on a three-year contract.

Southampton: Puel takes charge of SaintsSouthampton: Puel takes charge of Saints

The 54-year-old arrives at St Mary’s after guiding Nice to a fourth-place finish in Ligue 1 last season, while he has also enjoyed success elsewhere in France.

Puel won the French title with Monaco in 2000 before helping Lyon to their first-ever Champions League semi-final in 2010.

The former Monaco midfielder, who played over 500 time for the principality club, will now embark on his first job outside of his homeland as he looks to keep Southampton moving in the right direction.

Executive Director of Football Les Reed said: “The process to appoint a new First Team Manager has been diligent and meticulous. In order to ensure we appointed a manager who would meet our needs as a club, feedback from the dressing room, as well as taking account of our culture, vision and values, was critical in drawing up our criteria for the appointment.

“As the process eliminated a number of excellent candidates, 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.

“The development of our young Academy players and delivering a pathway to the first team is key to the role. We were keen to appoint a coaching team who would also work closely with Martin Hunter and Radhi Jaidi in accelerating the development of our youngsters, as well as developing our current first-team squad as individuals and as a team.

“Claude has a track record of improving the situations he has been presented with and we are confident he can repeat this at Southampton.”

Eric Black has been drafted in to work alongside Puel as assistant first-team manager, while Pascal Plancque will become the club’s first-team assistant coach.

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