May 26 – Just two days after steering Lille to their first top-flight title since 2011, Christophe Galtier has stepped down as head coach saying four years at one club is “long enough and I just feel I have done my time here.”
“If we had finished fourth or seventh I would have made the same decision. I’m leaving this beautiful club with an incredible result, I need something else. I don’t want to fall into a routine.”
As Lille celebrated with an open-topped bus parade through the city, club president Olivier Letang said the Ligue 1 champions had been unable to persuade Galtier to stay on and complete the final year of his contract.
One reason may be that the 54-year-old was close to former owner and president Gerard Lopez, who left amid the club’s financial difficulties last December.
“There has always been a lot of respect between us and our relationship has grown even stronger during our collaboration over the past five months,” said Letang. “I naturally tried to convince him, but I believe his decision was already made.
“All Lille residents will keep wonderful memories of his time at LOSC, with the crowning glory of this title of champion of France. We can only thank him for everything he has brought here.”
Lille’s 2-1 victory over Angers on Sunday saw them finish top with a club record 83 points, one point ahead of perennial winners Paris St Germain.
Galtier took over at Lille in December 2017 with the side in serious relegation danger. After keeping them up he then took Lille to second and fourth-place finishes over the next two seasons before this season’s title.
Galtier has been linked with the managerial jobs at Nice and Lyon, and also at Napoli in Italy, but there is also speculation that he might end up at PSG where Mauricio Pochettino failed to deliver the title in his first season.
“Among the clubs that have asked me, there are three today that interest me,” said Galtier.
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