Reports in this morning’s print edition of French newspaper L’Equipe suggest that both Newcastle United and Aston Villa are keeping an eye on Saint-Etienne boss Christophe Galtier. The story is very much a case of ifs, buts, and maybes, but the French manager dreams of working in the Premier League and he may be looking for a new challenge next season.
Galtier has done a wonderful job at les Verts since he took over in 2009. Through smart transfer moves and some excellent man-management he has taken Saint-Etienne from a team struggling at the bottom of Ligue 1 to a team that has been a challenger for the Champions League places in the past two seasons.
It was under Galtier that Gabonese striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, flourished, then the coach had to deal with the loss of his star player and has still guided the club to fourth place in Ligue 1. After another impressive season, the 47-year-old may call it time in Ligue 1 and look for a new challenge elsewhere.
The former Marseille and Lille defender has to be commended for the excellent style of play that Saint-Etienne has adopted during his time in charge. Sainté play a very free-flowing, expansive and attacking brand of football, while also being tough in defence.
Galtier also has to be credited with the development of Chelsea’s £12.5 million winter signing Kurt Zouma. It was under the current Saint-Etienne boss that Zouma made his debut and he has certainly flourished into one of Europe’s best young defenders.
Any move from the French coach would also depend on the coaching situation at both Aston Villa and Newcastle United. Galtier would be a great fit at both clubs, but particularly at St James’ Park. With a number of French speaking players at the club, he would find it easier to settle, and with Graham Carr’s knowledge of the French league there would be a great understanding of the current market.
Newcastle United fans are far from happy with the direction the club is taking under current boss Alan Pardew, and despite his long-term contract with the club, it wouldn’t be a surprise if there was some movement from owner Mike Ashley this summer.
If Newcastle United are in the market for a new coach, they could do a lot worse than bringing in Christophe Galtier, given some time to settle and adapt, he could be the man that brings success to the North-East.