Puel odds-on to be sacked at Leicester? Four replacements
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Under the late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's ownership, Leicester City sought to punch above their weight and rank among the Premier League's best teams. This culture led to their improbable 2015/2016 title run. Having tasted success, the Foxes want more.
In that context, the shock elimination from the FA Cup at lower league Newport County's hands did not sit well. As ever, the manager bears the brunt. Claude Puel is now odds-on to be the next managerial casualty following Jose Mourinho's exit from Manchester United.
Rafa Benitez is the rare manager virtually every Premier League club would hire if available. The Spaniard's off again/off again relationship with Toon owner Mike Ashley means that could occur at any time. Seriously. Check after reading this.
The former Real Madrid and Liverpool manager took on the Newcastle job with the club in relegation waters then stayed when they went down. With his stroke of genius, Newcastle won the Championship and are back in the Premier League. Staying there is another challenge without the required investment. The club has refused to match the 58-year-old transfer targets.
Rafa could leave the club before season's end. It isn't a stretch for him to be first on Leicester's list.
The former Everton manager boss has been unemployed since leaving the Toffees in the summer. Big Sam is a rescue specialist whose conservative tactics invariably stave off relegation. The 64-year-old can play attractive football when given the resources and a fair start. He did so in his short spell with England and earlier in his career with Bolton. If Leicester value experience and consistency, Allardyce will be on their list.
A third return to Leicester City for Nigel Pearson could be in the offing. Pearson's always been a Leicester man. He engineered the spectacular recovery that kept the team in the Premier League a year before Claudio Ranieri won the title. The 55-year-old currently manages Belgium B side Oud-Heverlee Leuven. The beer is good in the Low Country but he might fancy a return to the big time.
Popular with the club despite his notorious temper, he won the Championship to bring the club to the top flight. Sacked for his son's poor behaviour in Asia, it could be time to mend fences.
Louis Van Gaal
If anyone can outshine Rafa Benitez on this list, it's the Dutchman. LvG's been content to relax with his family since leaving Manchester United but he's been mooted for a job here and there. He hasn't ruled out a return and the Premier League is always an option for top bosses. Leicester offers fewer resources than United, Bayern or Barcelona but also fewer demands. Van Gaal has worked on a budget to great success with both Ajax and AZ Alkmaar. At the very least the club can keep him supplied with notepads and a comfortable chair for matchdays.
While he may not be one for remonstrating in the technical area, LvG ranks among the greatest managers in the modern era if not all time. Leicester would be lucky to have him.