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Lineker questions Ranieri move

Published 14/07/2015

Claudio Ranieri is back in English football with Leicester
Claudio Ranieri is back in English football with Leicester

Leicester claimed they had acquired "one of the world's elite managers" when they tempted Claudio Ranieri to take up the reins on Monday, but one of the Foxes' most famous former players questioned the move.

Italian Ranieri signed a three-year deal to replace Nigel Pearson at the King Power Stadium and added the east midlands club to a long list of employees that includes the likes of Chelsea, Juventus and Atletico Madrid.

However, the vastly experienced 63-year-old, who has been out of work since being dismissed by Greece in the wake of their embarrassing home loss to the Faroe Islands in November, has been labelled an "uninspiring" choice by ex-Leicester striker Gary Lineker.

The television pundit told BreatheSport: "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."

The Foxes were keen on recruiting a high-profile boss to succeed Pearson and Martin O'Neill was heavily linked with a return to the club while Guus Hiddink was also tipped to be in the frame.

However, it was another ex-Chelsea manager in his 60s that the Foxes hierarchy opted for, bringing Ranieri back to England following his four-year spell at Stamford Bridge between 2000 and 2004.

In explaining Ranieri's appointment, vice chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha told the club's official website: "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."

Ranieri's 29-year managerial career has spanned five countries and 14 teams but he revealed he had always harboured aspirations of returning to English football's top flight.

The Italian, who earned the nickname 'the Tinkerman' during his time in west London due to his penchant for changing his tactics, guided Chelsea to a second-placed finish in the 2003-04 campaign behind Arsenal's 'Invincibles' and was knocked out of the Champions League semi-fin als by Monaco.

"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," Ranieri said.

''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."

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