Southampton names Claude Puel as new coach

The 54-year-old former Monaco and Nice boss replaces Ronald Koeman, who left for Everton earlier this summer. Puel won the French league title when in charge of Monaco in 2000 before going on to enjoy a six-year spell at Lille.

"The challenge for me, and for the club also, is to continue the good results and to play games every three days," said the newly appointed manager.   -  Getty Images

Southampton on Thursday named Frenchman Claude Puel as its new coach on a three-year deal.

The 54-year-old former Monaco and Nice boss replaces Ronald Koeman, who left for Everton earlier this summer. Puel won the French league title when in charge of Monaco in 2000 before going on to enjoy a six-year spell at Lille.

"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," said Southampton's executive director of football Les Reed.

"Claude has a fantastic platform to work from and is aware that our ambition is to repeat and improve on our performances in the Premier League over the past three seasons.

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

He then took over at Lyon and led them to the Champions League semi-finals in 2010. He has spent the last four years as the coach of Nice, who last season finished fourth in Ligue 1. He has never coached outside France's top tier.

Puel, who will help steer the club through their first-ever Europa League group campaign, told the club's website: "I am very happy to be the new manager, because it's a good opportunity and a good challenge for me to come here.

"The challenge for me, and for the club also, is to continue the good results and to play games every three days."

Former Aston Villa coach Eric Black has been named as Puel's assistant.

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