Claude Puel believes his dismissal at Southampton was not solely down to “sporting reasons”.

Saints sacked Puel on Wednesday after just one season at the helm despite the Frenchman securing an eighth-place finish in the Premier League and overseeing a run to the EFL Cup final where they were beaten in a thrilling final by Manchester United.

Reports surfaced in May that Puel had several training ground arguments with his playing squad, while there have been murmurings of discontent over his tactical approach at the St Mary’s Stadium.

The former Nice boss insists he enjoyed his experience of English football, but says he is now on the lookout for a job where he feels “appreciated”.

“I remain positive,” he told Telefoot. “We had a very good year. I was able to discover different football – the fans, the players – it was really great.

“There can be misunderstandings. I think that my departure is for a little bit more than sporting reasons.

“The separation came a little late. I do not know at all [the next job] – there are few available. I need a good little project, to feel good and appreciated.

1.2 – Claude Puel won just 1.2 points per game as Southampton manager, fewer than Koeman (1.6) and Pochettino (1.4). Regression.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 15, 2017

“I’ve had a lot of interest for a month, but I did not talk to anyone because I was under contract and I like to respect my contracts.”

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