Southampton target Thomas Tuchel as Claude Puel replacement

Mauricio Pellegrino and Roger Schmidt also under consideration at the club

Samuel Lovett
Thursday 08 June 2017 17:43
Thomas Tuchel would mark a major coup for Southampton
Thomas Tuchel would mark a major coup for Southampton

Southampton are targeting former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel as a replacement for Claude Puel, with Mauricio Pellegrino and Roger Schmidt also under consideration.

The Saints hierarchy have spent the past fortnight deliberating over Puel’s future following unrest from supporters and fallings-out with several senior players.

It’s understood the club are now close to sacking the Frenchman, who took charge just one year ago, with the two parties currently in the process of negotiating a pay-off over the remaining two years of the manager’s contract.

Tuchel, who left Dortmund late last month after falling out with the club’s hierarchy, has now emerged as a target for Southampton but would need convincing to make what would be seen as a step down from the German giants.

The 43-year-old spent two years at the Westfalenstadion, guiding the club to their first trophy – the German Cup – in five years.

Tuchel’s fellow countryman and ex-Bayer Leverkusen manager Schmidt is another contender to replace Puel while Pellegrino has similarly been linked to the job, though Premier League rivals Crystal Palace are currently leading the race to land the Argentine who impressed club chiefs in his recent interview.

Marco Silva was sounded out but opted to join Watford rather than wait for Saints to make their final decision on Puel.

Tuchel quit Dortmund after winning the German Cup with the side

After taking over from Ronald Koeman last summer, the Frenchman went on to secure an eighth-place finish for Southampton and saw his side narrowly beaten by Manchester United in the EFL Cup final at Wembley.

But Puel’s negative tactics made him unpopular with the majority of fans and his constant tinkering also alienated players, including Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long and Serbian Dusan Tadic.

Vice-chairman Les Reed began searching for Puel’s successor even before the season had finished and is understood to be keen on making a swift appointment.

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