Southampton have confirmed the departure of Claude Puel after just one season in charge of the club, terminating his contract with immediate effect.
Despite guiding the Saints to the League Cup final and an eighth place finish last season – two positions lower than they achieved in the 2015/16 season under Ronald Koeman – there had been doubts over his suitability for the role.
Southampton only scored 41 goals last season, four more than relegated Hull City, and fans booed the team during their final match of the season.
Clearly frustrated with the team’s defensive and dour brand of football under the Frenchman, Southampton have decided to axe Puel and will now begin the hunt for a new boss.
A statement read: ‘Southampton Football Club can today confirm that it has terminated the contract of Claude Puel with immediate effect.
‘Everyone at Southampton would like to express our thanks to Claude for his hard work and commitment this year.
‘The highlight of the season was a memorable day at Wembley in the EFL Cup Final, a day our fans will always treasure.
‘We wish Claude well for the future.
Southampton sack manager Claude Puel after just one season
Thomas Tuchel is the favourite to replace Puel at Southampton (Picture: Getty)
‘The search for a new management team is underway. We are confident that we will find the right fit in line with the long term vision of the club.’
Puel, who was handed a three-year contract when he arrived on the south-coast last summer, could be replaced by former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel, who is the current favourite for the job.