Rafa Benitez favourite to replace Claude Puel at Leicester City

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 01 May 2018, 16:10

With Claude Puel’s long-term future up in the air at Leicester City, the Foxes could be set for a summer switch-up in the dugout.

The Frenchman enjoyed a bright start to life at the King Power Stadium after taking over from Craig Shakespeare back in October.

However, as is so often the case after an original "manager bounce", the former Southampton boss has since come unstuck following a run of four victories in 18 Premier League matches.

Puel was heavily criticised in the aftermath of Leicester’s shock 5-0 hammering at the hands of Crystal Palace on Saturday, which ended the club’s hopes of European football next season.

Puel’s management style has come under the spotlight, as have his decisions to frequently chop-and-change his team.

The growing speculation surrounding his future has in turn seen Paddy Power re-open the Next Leicester City Manager Market.

Top of the betting is Newcastle gaffer Rafa Benitez at 6/1. The Toon boss has done an exceptional job with last season’s Championship winners, who are currently 10th in the table with three games to go.

Magpies fans, who adore the Spaniard, will be desperately hoping that he stays on at St James’ Park, but while it would be difficult to begrudge a switch to a top side in Europe, they’d be disappointed to see him leave for Leicester.

Other names in the frame include Burnley boss Sean Dyche, former Foxes manager Martin O’Neil, Manuel Pellegrini and Celtic’s Brendan Rodgers.

In the meantime Puel has three games against West Ham, Arsenal and Tottenham to prove to both the fans and the hierarchy that he remains the right man for the job.

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