Pellegrino appointed Southampton manager

Southampton sacked Claude Puel after just one season at the helm and have replaced him with Mauricio Pellegrino.

Pellegrino guided Alaves to its first Copa del Rey final in 2016-17.   -  Getty Images

Mauricio Pellegrino has been confirmed as the new Southampton manager on a three-year deal, succeeding the sacked Claude Puel.

The Saints sacked Claude Puel this month after just one season at the helm, despite having reached the EFL Cup final and secured a top-eight finish.

It underlines the weighty expectations that will be on Pellegrino's shoulders, with the 45-year-old having last been in charge at Alaves. He guided the La Liga club to its first Copa del Rey final in 2016-17, but it was beaten 3-1 by Barcelona.

"I am really happy to become the new coach of Southampton football club," said the Argentine, whose playing career included a spell at Liverpool, where he also worked as a coach alongside Rafael Benitez. "The club has a great reputation for having a strong and stable structure, competing in the Premier League and playing attractive football."

"I think my philosophy and the culture of the club will work well together. We have to be a team on and off the pitch; I want to make the supporters proud of the players and to feel part of the game every week. I want to win matches, be successful and develop a team spirit where everyone gives 100 per cent and supports each other."

"I am excited and passionate about what the future holds for us and look forward to meeting the players and beginning our preparation for the new season," he added.