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18 June 2017

Claude Puel says Southampton sacking was for more than just ‘sporting reasons’

CLAUDE PUEL claims his Southampton sacking was not all down to “sporting reasons”.

The Frenchman, 55, was axed after just one season — despite taking Saints to the EFL Cup final.

Claude Puel believes there was more than meets the eye as to why he was sacked at Southampton
Claude Puel believes there was more than meets the eye as to why he was sacked at Southampton
AP:Associated Press

The St Mary’s board lost faith with Puel following reports of training ground bust-ups with his players.


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Puel said: “There can be misunderstandings. I think that my departure is for a little bit more than sporting reasons.”

Ex-Alaves coach Mauricio Pellegrino is in line to replace Puel after first choice Thomas Tuchel ruled himself out.

Former Saints defender Ivan Golac has applied for the position.

Claude Puel guided Southampton to their highest-ever finish - but it was enough to keep him in the job
Claude Puel guided Southampton to their highest-ever finish – but it was enough to keep him in the job
Getty Images

But Pellegrino is seemingly the club’s top choice.

The Argentinian coach is also wanted by Crystal Palace — but St Mary’s sources have told SunSport they hope to reach a deal as soon as next week for him to replace sacked Claude Puel.

Pellegrino has impressed clubs across Europe with the way he guided Spanish minnows Alaves to ninth in their first season since being promoted to La Liga plus the Copa del Rey final on a shoestring budget.

The 45-year-old has already said he wants to manage in England.

A Southampton insider said: “Mauricio has done an excellent job at Alaves and is very much in the mould of his Argentine countryman Mauricio Pochettino when we recruited him a few years ago, also after doing well in Spain.

“He likes to play good football, is forward thinking and proved he can work on a tight budget. We’re hopeful a deal can be finalised soon — even in the next week.

“There are several clubs interested in him but we’re hoping we can sell what Southampton has to offer. It didn’t do Pochettino too badly.”

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