Belfast Telegraph

Claudio Ranieri says he could have been Southampton manager

Claudio Ranieri revealed he could have been Southampton boss before his Greek tragedy.

The Leicester manager admitted he held talks with the Saints before they appointed current chief Ronald Koeman last summer.

Instead, Ranieri took charge of Greece in July 2014 - just weeks after Koeman took the Saints job - but was sacked four months into the post having lost to the Faroe Islands which left them bottom of their Euro 2016 qualifying group.

The Foxes go to St Mary's on Saturday and Ranieri admitted he made a mistake taking the Greece job after speaking to Southampton when the Saints were searching for Mauricio Pochettino's replacement.

"Yes," he said, when asked if he held talks with the Saints.

"I was interested, but after that there was also the Greece job - and I made a mistake.

"It was important that it was the right moment - and it (Southampton) wasn't the right moment for me.

"This is the right moment at Leicester.

"Southampton has a very good project, they want to be at a high level. They started it with Mauricio Pochettino a long time ago.

"Now we are starting, we are a little bit behind, but we want to fight and arrive. We want to emulate our project, we don't want to emulate another project."

The Foxes are fifth in the Barclays Premier League and unbeaten away from home but have not kept a clean sheet since May.

Ranieri has warned their away form means nothing ahead of their trip to the south coast.

He added: "The record does not make points. That is important for me. The record and the dreams are good for everyone around us but we go on the pitch and we have to concentrate.

"You can think about all the matches from now until December but we have to think about Southampton."


From Belfast Telegraph