Southampton appoint Mauricio Pellegrino as new boss

Southampton have appointed former Alaves boss Mauricio Pellegrino as their new manager.

The Argentine replaces Frenchman Claude Puel, who was sacked earlier this month.

Pellegrino stood down as from his post in Spain at the end of last season, after losing the Spanish Cup final to Barcelona and finishing ninth in La Liga.

Pellegrino confident

The 45-year-old boss will meet up with his players and staff in the next two weeks but was already sounding bullish about his new position.

Pellegrino said: "I want to win matches, be successful and develop a team spirit where everyone gives 100% and supports each other."

Before adding: "I am excited and passionate about what the future holds."

Just who is the new Saints boss?

Pellegrino made three appearances for Argentina over the course of a 16-year playing career as a central defender.

His first job came at Valencia, where he was sacked after seven months in charge. He has previously worked at Independiente and Estudiantes in Argentina.

Prior to his appointment at Valencia in 2012, Pellegrino worked as a coach under Rafael Benitez at Liverpool and Inter Milan.

He also made 13 appearances for Liverpool after being signed by Benitez, who he also played for during six years at Valencia from 1999.

Reed optimistic

Southampton's vice-chairman Les Reed, who usually speaks to the media after any new arrivals, has already been complimentary about the new man in the dugout.

"While he had other options, we are delighted he feels that St Mary's is the right place for him.

"Pellegrino impressed us with his depth of knowledge, motivation and ability," admitted Reed.

Adding he "quickly became our first choice".