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 By Ian Holyman

Christophe Galtier to step down as St Etienne manager

Christophe Galtier took over at St Etienne in November of 2009.

Christophe Galtier will end his near eight-year tenure in charge of St Etienne this summer, the Ligue 1 club has announced.

Galtier initially joined Les Verts in 2008 as assistant to Alain Perrin, but took over the first team when the former Portsmouth and Lyon boss was dismissed in November 2009.

After saving the club from relegation in his maiden campaign, Galtier has continually over achieved with Les Verts finishing in the top five in three successive season before ending last term in sixth.

"Leading Saint-Etienne for more than seven years has been an honour and a source of pride," said Galtier told the club's official website. "I'd like to thank ASSE for allowing me to grow as a coach. I was able to identify with the club's value and their supporters."

Galtier, who shared Ligue 1's Coach of the Year award with then-Paris Saint-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti in 2013, has taken charge of more than 350 games at the head of the club, guiding them to the round of 32 of the Europa League this season, their fourth successive qualification for the competition.

"I struggle to realise Christophe won't be the AS Saint-Etienne coach next season," said club legend and sporting director Dominique Rocheteau.

"I am split between two emotions: the sadness of seeing Christophe leave, and the pride of having accompanied him during the last seven years. Christophe has become an internationally renowned coach thanks to his work, his skills and his intelligence. He's a charismatic leader."

The club finished sixth last season and are currently seventh with three matches remaining.

The club announced they will pay tribute to Galtier at Sunday's final home game of the season against PSG, and will only start talking to prospective candidates for the first-team coaching role after that.

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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