Leicester City have replaced the sacked Nigel Pearson with former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri, committing the Italian to a three-year contract. Ranieri returns to England following an eleven year absence, during which time he has managed the likes of Juventus, Roma, Inter Milan, and the Greek national team.
During his four-year spell in England, the man known as “the Tinkerman”, owing to his penchant for squad rotation, guided Chelsea to a second-placed finish in the league, the semi-final of the Champions League, and the FA Cup final.
After failing to win any trophies with the Blues, he was replaced by Portuguese tactician Jose Mourinho.
“I’m so glad to be here in a club with such a great tradition as Leicester City,” said the two-time Premier League manager of the month. “I have worked at many great clubs, in many top leagues, but since I left Chelsea I have dreamt of another chance to work in the best league in the world again.
“I wish to thank the owner, his son and all the executives of the Club for the opportunity they are giving me. Now I’ve only one way for returning their trust: squeeze all my energies to getting the best results for the team.”
Leicester City’s Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha voiced his excitement on the acquisition, saying, “It is my great pleasure to welcome Claudio Ranieri – a man of remarkable experience and knowledge that will lead us into the next phase of our long-term plan for Leicester City.
“His achievements in the game, his knowledge of English football and his record of successfully coaching some of the world’s finest players made him the outstanding candidate for the job and his ambitions for the future reflect our own.
“To have attracted one of the world’s elite managers speaks volumes both for the progress Leicester City has made in recent years and for the potential that remains for the Club’s long-term development.”
Pearson’s dismissal by the club came after he oversaw his side win seven of their last ten games, as they moved from the bottom of the table up to 14th, salvaging their spot in the top flight. The Foxes will be hoping it will not take similar heroics to stay afloat next season, as they seek stability in England’s first division.
Former Leicester striker Gary Lineker expressed his dissatisfaction regarding the appointment, with the BBC pundit saying, “Claudio Ranieri is clearly experienced, but this is an uninspired choice by Leicester. It’s amazing how the same old names keep getting a go on the managerial merry-go-round.”
Ranieri’s first runout with the team comes on July 21st, when his side make the trip to Lincoln City in a pre-season friendly. Leicester also have friendlies against Mansfield Town, Burton Albion, Rotherham United and Birmingham City before they turn their focus to their Premier League opener against Sunderland on August 8th, at the King Power Stadium.