Southampton’s hierarchy have decided not to appoint Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager and will now consider other candidates to replace the recently departed Ronald Koeman.
Despite being a favourite for quite some time to succeed Koeman at St Mary’s, Pellegrini will not do so, since after holding extensive talks with the 62-year-old Chilean, the Saints board have determined that his managerial approach fits in neither with the club’s general ethos nor their youth development strategy, according to the Daily Echo.
Also certain not to replace Koeman, who left to become Everton’s new manager, is Jurgen Klinsmann, with the U.S.A head coach having never even been on the Saints list of managerial candidates. Although that list reportedly featured names such as David Moyes, Eddie Howe, Frank De Boer, Raul Garcia and Vitor Pereira, the quintet are no longer believed to be in the running for the position.
Subsequently Southampton’s executive director of football Les Reed and the club’s board are understood, according to The Telegraph, to have identified 54-year-old Frenchman Claude Puel as the man that they would like to lead the club into the 2016-17 campaign, when the Saints will play in the group stages of the Europa League.
Puel who left French side Nice at the end of last season, also previously managed Lille, Lyon and Monaco, the latter of whom he led to the 1999-2000 Ligue 1 title.
As well as his vast experience of European football and developing young players, Puel is renowned for working well with limited finances and creating team’s who play an attractive brand of football. Therefore it is such credentials that Southampton’s hierarchy value most in a manager, which makes Puel an ideal candidate for the role.
Although it is not yet known when Southampton will announce their new manager, it is understood they strongly intend to have him in place before the players return for pre-season training next Monday, June 28.