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Watford to accelerate plans to appoint a new boss with ‘Puel, Marcelino and Lamouchi in contention’

Watford will accelerate their plans to appoint a new manager after the Premier League season finishes on Sunday, according to reports.

The club sacked Nigel Pearson with two games remaining and put Hayden Mullins in temporary charge, but the academy boss faces a battle to keep the team in the top-flight. 

The Evening Standard report that the Hornets are waiting to see which division they will be playing in next season but former Leicester boss Claude Puel has emerged as an early favourite.

Puel was sacked by the Foxes in February 2019 and was replaced bu current manager Brendan Rodgers.

Other candidates include Nottingham Forest’s Sabri Lamouchi. 

The club missed out on a place in the Championship play-offs on a dramatic final day which saw Lamouchi’s side beaten 4-1 by Stoke while Swansea beat Reading by the same scoreline to leapfrog into sixth place. 

Valencia boss Marcelino, whose side missed out on a place in Europe this season, is another name to have been thrown into the hat.

Chris Hughton was interviewed for the job before the club opted for Pearson and is an experienced Championship manager having guided Brighton and Newcastle to promotion from the division.

But he is also in talks with Bristol City over becoming their new coach after Lee Johnson was sacked earlier this month.

Watford currently occupy the final relegation place and are three points behind Aston Villa heading into the final game of the season. 

Villa know they just have to match Watford’s result at Arsenal to ensure their survival.

Bournemouth have an outside chance of staying up but need to beat Everton at Goodison Park and hope both the Hornets and Villa are beaten. 

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