After months of hovering perilously close to the exit door, Claude Puel has finally been relieved of his duties at Leicester City. 

The Frenchman's style of play had left many fans frustrated, and the Foxes are currently as close to relegation as they are to European qualification. It seems as though it is time for a fresh start.

Here are eight candidates who could find themselves on Leicester's shortlist to replace Puel.

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Rafa Benitez


Current Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez finds himself in a tricky situation. He is nearing the end of his contract at St James' Park, where he is utterly adored by home fans, but frustrations with the club's ownership could force him towards the exit door.

With the likes of LiverpoolChelsea and Real Madrid on his CV, Benitez certainly boasts a level of experience which most managers can only dream of, and he certainly knows how to get the job done in England.

If Leicester can offer Benitez a more stable working environment, perhaps the Spaniard could be on his way to the King Power Stadium.

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Brendan Rodgers


Another former Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers also has an impressive resume. After rising to prominence with his excellent work with Swansea City, Rodgers moved to Anfield in 2012 and came incredibly close to bringing Premier League glory back to Liverpool in 2014.

He has since moved to Scottish side Celtic, and has seen his trophy cabinet overflow in the two years he has been there. His side have won the treble in consecutive seasons as Celtic have firmly established an unprecedented level of dominance in Scotland.

However, Rodgers may well feel as though he has unfinished business in the Premier League, and a chance to return could prove too good to turn down for the specialist in 'great character'.

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David Wagner


If Leicester want a straightforward appointment, they could move for former Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner, who has been out of a job since leaving the Terriers in January.

Managing to guide Huddersfield to the Premier League was impressive, but keeping the team in the division last season was a remarkable feat. Things didn't work out this year, but Wagner retains a huge level of support from many.

Comparisons to his good friend Jurgen Klopp are fully deserved, and Leicester could do a whole lot worse than to give Wagner a second crack in the Premier League.

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Sean Dyche


Widely viewed as one of the finest English managers around, Sean Dyche has earned a huge amount of praise for his phenomenal work with Burnley over the last seven years.

The Clarets' performances last season were nothing short of sensational, with the team qualifying for the preliminary stages of the Europa League with a seventh-placed finish in the league. 

Burnley may find themselves in the bottom half of the table this season, but respect for Dyche has not wavered. Could he be the man to reverse Leicester's fortunes?

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Nigel Pearson


The Foxes could opt to give former boss Nigel Pearson his third chance to lead their team. After joining the club in 2011, he guided Leicester to the Premier League in 2014, and many credit Pearson with building the team with which Claudio Ranieri won the title in the 2015/16 season.

However, bringing Pearson back would certainly come with controversy. His verbal and physical confrontations with both fans and players left many concerned by Pearson's leadership, and he was even sacked in 2015 amid investigations into his son James' role in a racist sex tape during a club tour of Thailand.

He has since spent time with Derby County and Belgian side OH Leuven, but it remains to be seen whether Leicester are prepared to forget his controversial past.

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Neil Lennon


Celtic legend Neil Lennon could also be on the shortlist for a simple hiring. The 47-year-old left Hibernian in January, but Lennon has enjoyed plenty of success in his managerial career.

Four years with Celtic yielded five trophies, and he even helped the Hoops become regulars in the Champions League. He left in search of a new challenge, but a disappointing two-year spell with Bolton Wanderers was not what he had in mind.

Returning to Scotland, Lennon guided Hibernian back to the Scottish Premiership, and Leicester could be keen on a manager with Lennon's big-game success.

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Sam Allardyce


Few managers know how to steady the ship quite like Sam Allardyce. His mid-season appointments have saved the likes of Crystal Palace and Sunderland from Premier League relegation, and this calming influence could be exactly what Leicester need.

His playing style has a history of frustrating fans, with Allardyce often preferring to focus on solid defending instead of scoring goals. In his last job, he guided Everton to eighth, but ultimately left the club as fans grew tired of his tactics.

However, Leicester could do with somebody to come in and calm things down, and Allardyce is surely a prime candidate for the role.

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Mikel Arteta


Mikel Arteta is yet to take his first job in management, but he has spent several years learning under one of the all-time greats in Pep Guardiola. If he is anything like the Manchester City boss, Arteta could be a risk worth taking.

In fact, Arteta was heavily linked with the manager's job at Arsenal following Arsene Wenger's departure, but eventually lost out to Unai Emery. The footballing world are taking note of Arteta's skills, and it seems just a matter of time before the Spaniard spreads his wings and flies the nest.

Whether Leicester are prepared to take the risk of hiring an untested Arteta remains to be seen, but anyone who has spent three years learning from Guardiola will undoubtedly bring the winning mentality which Leicester are looking for.