Leicester City have appointed the former Southampton head coach Claude Puel as their manager following their summary dismissal of Craig Shakespeare laster week.
Puel, 56, has signed a contract with the Foxes until June 2020 and was described by the club’s vice-chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, as “a perfect fit” for his team.
It was also reported that Leicester’s board of directors interviewed several candidates beforehand, with Puel being selected to lead the club now standing at 14th in the Premier League, one point above the relegation zone.
Michael Appleton, interim manager who oversaw two games for the club, will revert to his assistant’s role, as Puel will be introduced to the media on Friday and will take charge of Sunday’s home match against Everton, who are without a full-time manager after Ronald Koeman’s dismissal.
Puel himself was released by Southampton in June despite decent results such as leading the club to an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League and the final of the Capital One Cup. The Saints flopped in the Europa League and decent domestic results were deemed not good enough to compensate for a style of play that many supporters decried as too defensive, with players unhappy about his rotation policy.
Without a club since, the Frenchman was said to have impressed Leicester during more than one set of talks.
“Upon meeting Claude, his attention to detail, knowledge of our squad, understanding of our potential and his vision to help us realise it were extremely impressive,” Srivaddhanaprabha said. “He quickly emerged as the outstanding candidate.”
Puel described it as “a great privilege” to take the Leicester job. “The opportunity to help the club build on its remarkable recent achievements is a truly exciting one, and I’m looking forward to working with the owners, players, staff and supporters to deliver further lasting success,” he said.
Leicester City 2 – 0 Everton