Football: Leicester part company with Puel, Rodgers favourite to take over as manager in close season

Claude Puel had been unable to get Leicester City out of a recent slump with the club losing five of their last six league matches.
Claude Puel had been unable to get Leicester City out of a recent slump with the club losing five of their last six league matches.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS, AFP) - English Premier League side Leicester said on Sunday (Feb 24) that they have parted company with manager Claude Puel, with the club sitting 12th in the standings.

The 57-year-old had been unable to get them out of a recent slump with the club losing five of their last six league matches, and a 4-1 defeat at home by Crystal Palace on Saturday compounded their misery.

"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," Leicester, the 2015-16 Premier League champions, said in a statement.

"Assistant manager Jacky Bonnevay also departs with the club's best wishes.

"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."

Celtic manager and former Liverpool boss Brendan 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.

Puel was appointed the Foxes' manager in October 2017 when they were 14th in the standings and the Frenchman led the club to a ninth-place finish in his first season.

He had taken over from Craig Shakespeare after a year-long spell in charge of Southampton.

Although the club were in seventh spot at the turn of the year, they had a dismal start to 2019, suffering four consecutive home defeats.

Earlier this month, Peter Schmeichel, father of Leicester goalkeeper Kasper, said the club did not have a manager capable of getting the best out of the players and indicated that his son might be looking to move.

Leicester's Jamie Vardy had also been critical of Puel's style of play this season although Puel said there was no rift with the striker.

Their next game is a league trip to Brighton on Tuesday.