Claude Puel sacked by Leicester with Rodgers the top name in the frame

Leicester have sacked manager Claude Puel, with Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers linked with succeeding the Frenchman at the King Power Stadium.

Puel has been under increasing pressure in recent weeks and his final match in charge was Saturday’s 4-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace.

The result saw the club’s board pressed into action due to the alarming drop down the Premier League table.  Puel was relieved of his duties on Sunday morning after Foxes vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, who watched the defeat in Thailand, made the decision following talks with other club officials.

The defeat to Palace was Leicester’s sixth loss in their last seven matches, a run that has seen them knocked out of the FA Cup by Newport and drop down to 12th in the Premier League and eight points above the relegation zone.

A club statement read: “Leicester City Football Club has today parted company with Claude Puel, who leaves his position as first-team manager with immediate effect.

“The club would like to thank Claude for his efforts in leading the team during his 16 months in the role and wish him well in his future career.”

Puel was appointed Foxes boss in October 2017, returning to the Premier League just 133 days after being sacked by Southampton.

The former Monaco and Lyon boss steadied the ship and eventually led the Foxes to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League last season.

Fulham v Leicester City – Premier League – Craven Cottage
James Maddison was one of seven signings made by Puel last summer (Steven Paston/PA)

He was backed by the club’s board in the summer, spending money on the likes of James Maddison, Ricardo Pereira, Rachid Ghezzal and Caglar Soyuncu as he aimed to change Leicester’s style of play.

However, the Frenchman’s approach has been heavily criticised by supporters, especially his use of Jamie Vardy – with the former England striker also publicly questioning his manager’s tactics and training regime.

Puel was reportedly on the brink around the Christmas period, but wins over Chelsea and Manchester City earned him a stay of execution. However, the FA Cup exit at League Two club Newport and home defeats to Cardiff, Southampton and Palace have prompted the board to make a change.

With assistant manager Jacky Bonnevay also leaving Leicester along with Puel, coaches Mike Stowell and Adam Sadler have been placed in temporary charge.

Claude Puel's time is up at Leicester
Claude Puel’s time is up at Leicester (John Walton/PA)

The club statement added: “First-team coaches Mike Stowell and Adam Sadler, supported by the club’s established backroom staff, will assume responsibility for the senior squad while the club begins the process of appointing a new manager.

“The board will make no further comment until this process is complete.

Celtic manager and former Liverpool boss Rodgers is reported to be among the front-runners to replace Puel in the summer, with the club set to install an interim manager for the remaining 11 matches of the season.

Leicester are next in action on Tuesday night when they host Brighton in the Premier League.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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