Belfast Telegraph

Guus Hiddink 'said no' to replacing Claudio Ranieri as Leicester manager

Former Chelsea and Holland boss Guus Hiddink says he turned down an opportunity to manage Leicester following the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri.

Italian Ranieri was shown the door in February, just nine months after leading them to the Premier League title, with the Foxes perilously close to the relegation zone and seemingly unable to arrest their slide.

He was replaced by assistant Craig Shakespeare, who has since turned around the club's form, winning his first four Premier League games in charge - including Saturday's 2-0 victory over Stoke - to become only the fifth manager to achieve the feat.

However, Hiddink claims the decision to appoint Shakespeare was partly down to his advice, having himself rejected the chance to fill the void left by Ranieri.

The Dutchman told the Sunday Times: "To be strictly correct, I didn't talk directly with Leicester. But you know how the line goes. 'They think of you...'

"They asked not directly but indirectly, but I said no. If you have decided to sack Ranieri, why don't you go with your number two guy?

"Shakespeare knows the club, knows the players. Why don't you go there, you will see what will happen, I said. Happily I was right.

"Liverpool [Shakespeare's first game in charge] didn't know what hit them. Within 20 minutes, 2-0. And five days later Leicester won at Hull. The relegation problem was solved in five days."

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