Who will super Ranieri save next?
We look at the Italian’s options
So, just what do football clubs want these days? It is often written that Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson, who endured a slow start to life at Old Trafford, would have been sacked long before he went on to transform The Red Devils.
There’s no room for failure, no second chances, and what you did last season counts for nothing. Claudio Ranieri is the latest example of just how fickle modern football is. The magician, who turned Leicester into Premier League champions last term – against all the odds – took charge of his last game as manager of The Foxes in a 2-1 loss away to Sevilla in the Champions League. Another defeat in a long list of sore results this season, but the away goal gives them every chance of going through at the King Power on March 14th.
The 65-year-old’s sacking was met with astonishment from followers of Leicester and there was a peaceful march to honour their fallen hero before the win over Liverpool on Monday evening. With a glowing reference from those he left behind, Ranieri won’t be short of offers for his next move. But where will he work his magic next?
Ranieri to remain in Europe
A big-money move to the Chinese Super League is always an option these days, and Claudio will be welcomed with open-arms in that part of the world. He will certainly be in good company too, as the division snap up the world’s biggest names, throwing money around like it is going out of fashion. Diego Costa and Wayne Rooney are just two who should be plying their trade there next season.
The gaffer is expected to remain in Europe however, and his club of choice is believed to be Fiorentina. He managed at the Stadio Artemio Franchi between 1993 and 1997, doing something similar at Viola as was achieved at Leicester, taking them from the second-tier to Serie A, while picking up the Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup. Forget Jamie Vardy – he had Gabriel Batistuta in his side back then.
Current Fiorentina manager Paulo Sousa looks to be operating on borrowed time, and with the Italian side sitting down in eighth-place in the league, they were knocked out of the Europa League recently in humiliating circumstances. Beating Borussia Monchengladbach 1-0 away from home in the first leg, they looked to be through, but completely fell apart when it mattered, losing 4-2 at home.
Would he stay in British football?
It’s unlikely Ranieri would take another job in British football. He seemed so emotionally attached with what he had achieved at Leicester that it may be too much to remain in England. Arsene Wenger has been flirting with the idea of retirement at Arsenal. Plenty of Gunners fans would be happy to see that happen too. Could they move to secure last season’s Premier League manager of the year?
Leicester, under Ranieri, never seemed to get much luck against Arsenal however, drawing 0-0 at the King Power earlier this season, while losing home and away last term, including a 5-2 whipping in September 2015. He also didn’t really set the heather alight when at Chelsea, spending a fortune of Abramovich’s money, without too much to show for it.
If the experienced gaffer is up for the challenge of starting from scratch and reshaping a side’s fortunes, then there’s always a job going at Glasgow Rangers. That would allow him free rein over the fallen giants, rebuilding them from the bottom up, but the board seem to favour a youthful, more modern direction – and couldn’t afford him anyway.