Just a few days after Manuel Pellegrini pulled out of the running to take over at Southampton, there is a new front runner for the vacant job at St Mary's Stadium.
Southampton hope to appoint a new manager before players return to training next week having recently announced both pre-season tours.
However, after numerous speculation surrounding the job, it seems as though 54-year-old Frenchman, Claude Puel, is favourite for the St Mary's vacancy.
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The former Monaco midfielder has only managed within France, having spells at Monaco, Lille, Lyon, and Nice, which has been a source of concern for many Southampton fans since the link was made.
However, the Saints picked up Mauricio Pochettino having only managed Espanyol for three years, and looking at the achievements of the Argentine, it's fair to say Southampton have an excellent recruitment team, who are able to pick up any man capable, no matter how unknown they are to English football.
The Telegraph claim that the Saints are impressed with Puel's willingness to promote youth players into the first team, which is one of the board's most sought after characteristics for a manager.
With the recent sale of Kenyan captain Victor Wanyama, many fans of other teams might be expecting Southampton to bring in a big name replacement, however, the name on the fans' lips is Harrison Reed.
Having impressed in his chances under Pochettino, many fans were disappointed over his game time under Ronald Koeman, feeling that his progress was halted by the former boss.
It is then no surprise that Puel has risen so highly in the odds for the next manager, overtaking Pellegrini, who arguably never really experimented with many youth players other than in cup competitions.
Along with Pellegrini, the names mentioned for the job in recent weeks include Jurgen Klinsmann, Frank de Boer, Eddie Howe, and Andre Villas-Boas.
It seems as though Puel suits the recent trend of Southampton managers since the sacking of Nigel Adkins much more than the other candidates listed previously, with him being arguably the most obscure name for Premier League fans.
With the previous two managerial appointments going rather under the radar, it would be no surprise if the man announced in the coming weeks was never spoken about in the media.
However, if it were to be the current favourite Claude Puel, then Southampton would find themselves in the very capable hands of a man who fits the criteria.
Who should Southampton appoint as their next manager? Leave us YOUR suggestions in the comment section below!
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