By Graeme Bell

Following Southampton’s sacking of Claude Puel yesterday, reported target Thomas Tuchel has ruled himself out of becoming the new Saints manager, according to Sky Sports.

The German was the bookies’ early favourite to take the helm at St Mary’s Stadium, but the Saints may have to look to other options now.

Tuchel departed Borussia Dortmund just three days after lifting the German cup, following a 2-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. The former Signal Iduna Park manager also led the club to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga.

Sky Sports report that although Tuchel is said to be interested in a managerial role in the Premier League, the German would prefer to take charge of a team with Champions League football.

Speculation surrounding the German trainer began as soon as Puel was relieved of his duties by Southampton. The Frenchman was sacked after guiding the Saints to an EFL Cup final appearance and an eighth-place finish in the Premier League.

Southampton are on the lookout for a new manager for the second-successive summer, following the departure of Ronald Koeman to Everton last year.

Saints fans will be hoping a new manager can be appointed swiftly, preventing the club from losing out on any potential transfer targets.

Puel still had two years remaining on his contract and some will feel that the Frenchman has been harshly treated by Southampton, after his achievements last season.

The Saints have been in this position many times before over the last few seasons.

It will be quite astonishing if Southampton can pull of their usual trick of finding a manager capable of guiding the club to another top half finish – especially if they sell some of their key players again.


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