Lille manager Christophe Galtier, who led them to their first Ligue 1 title in a decade, on Sunday announced that he will leave the club.
Christophe Galtier announced that he will leave Lille days after winning the Ligue 1 title. The French manager led Lille to its first title in a decade following a 2-1 victory against Angers on the final match day of Ligue 1 season. The 54-year- old has been linked to Nice, Lyon and Napoli. He played for Lille for three years between 1987-90 and took charge as their manager in December 2017 when they were fighting for survival.
The Frenchman ensured their survival with the finest of margins, by one point, and then guided them to a second place finish in the next season and a Champions League qualification after seven years. After finishing fourth last season, Galtier guided Lille to it’s fourth title in its 76-year history. Lille finished the Ligue 1 season with 83 points, just one point ahead to defending champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Speaking to L’Equipe, he said “I have informed my president, Olivier Letang, having listened to him a lot, that I am going to leave Lille.
“I simply feel that my time here is done. A cycle of four years is quite long for a coach.”
Galier’s future is uncertain but he has been closely linked to French team Nice, who finished fifth in the league this season. Napoli who parted ways with Gennaro Gattuso after failing to secure a Champions League spot and Lyon are also linked to Galtier.
Nice are without a manager since they sacked Patrick Vieira in December. Since that time, interim coach Andrea Ursea has been in charge of the team. Nice’s football director Joulien Fourier has a very good relationship with Galtier.
Galtier told L’Equipe: “Yes, I’ve thought about these three clubs. I have not signed with anyone. I strongly believe that I must stop with Nice.
“Everyone knows the relationship I have with Julien Fournier (Nice’s football director) whom I have known for a very long time. He is in a project at Nice, with INEOS, which is huge.
As for Napoli, Galtier said: “It’s a chance. Naples is of interest to me but to other coaches too and I don’t know where I’m ranked there.”
Lille, who had a much lower budget compared to its rivals, managed to win the Ligue 1 trophy because of Galtier’s exceptional management skills. Lille never on one or two players, they played as a team, everyone had their fair share of contribution.
The 35-year striker Burak Yilmaz was their top scorer with 16 goals, 11 behind top-scorer Kylian Mbappe. The Turkish veteran also provided 6 assists. Canadian Jonathan David had a very good season with 12 goals.
Lille had the best defence in Ligue 1 as they conceded just 23 goals in 38 matches. Dutchman Sven Botman formed a formidable partnership with former Southampton defender Jose Font in the central defence. They had the best away record in the league as they didn’t lose a single away match since November.
Christophe Galtier was rightly named Ligue 1 Manager of the Year for the third time in his managerial career.