Southampton have today confirmed that Claude Puel has taken charge of the club on a three year contract.
The managerial position has been vacant since Ronald Koeman left the club just over two weeks ago and the search for the Dutchman’s successor began long before his departure was confirmed.
Puel fended off competition from Rudi Garcia, Vitor Pereira and Manuel Pellegrini who were all reported to be considered very highly by the club. Pellegrini was reported to be close to taking the job last week but the Saints board decided against appointing the Premier League winning manager.
Puel will be assisted by Eric Black and Pascal Plancque with Dave Watson remaining at the club as goalkeeping coach after extending his contract. However, Sammy Lee has departed the club
With this appointment being one of the biggest in the club’s history, Executive Director of Football Les Reed said that he was "excited" for the future under Puel.
Les Reed said: "The process to appoint a new First Team Manager has been diligent and meticulous. In order to ensure we appointed a manager who would meet our needs as a club, feedback from the dressing room, as well as taking account of our culture, vision and values, was critical in drawing up our criteria for the appointment.
If you want to find out more about Southampton’s new manager, read Tommy Scott’s overview of the Frenchman's career.