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Lyon coach Puel leaves


PARIS (Reuters) -- Coach Claude Puel left Olympique Lyon on Monday after their disappointing third-place finish in Ligue 1 last season.

"Olympique Lyon announce the departure of Claude Puel," said a club statement.

Last month French media linked Lyon with a move for Jean Fernandez but the former Auxerre boss instead joined AS Nancy.

An appointment from within the existing coaching staff is now expected, according to media reports.

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Lyon won the French title seven times in a row from 2002 to 2008 but since Puel's arrival in the second half of 2008 they have flattered to deceive, despite having one of the best lineups in the league and better resources than most.

They reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 2010 but that was the high point for Puel, 49, whose side could not keep pace with Ligue 1 champions Lille last term with big signing Yoann Gourcuff failing to shine.

Lyon, who face a qualifying round tie in the Champions League next term, are due to move to a new stadium dubbed "OL-Land" in the next few years but their status as the undisputed kings of French football is now long gone.