Nantes hires Claudio Ranieri after attaining French league age exemption
NANTES, France (AP) – Claudio Ranieri will try to revive his career in France after the French soccer league gave permission to Nantes to hire the former Leicester manager on Tuesday.
According to several media reports in France, the Italian coach will sign a two-year deal and will be assisted by four deputy coaches.
Nantes had asked for a special dispensation because Ranieri has reached the coach's age limit of 65.
Ranieri, who guided Leicester to the English Premier League title in 2016 but was fired nine months later, will replace Sergio Conceicao. The Portuguese coach left Nantes earlier this month to take charge of FC Porto.
Ranieri has also coached Juventus, Roma and Inter Milan in his much-traveled career and was in charge of several other Italian sides as well as Atletico Madrid and Chelsea.
Under Ranieri's guidance, Leicester won the Premier League at preseason odds of 5,000-1, a year after narrowly escaping relegation. He was fired in February with the team one point and one place above the relegation zone in a woeful title defense.
Ranieri has already coached in the French league, from 2012-14, when he won the League 2 title with Monaco then led the Principality side to a runner-up finish in the topflight.
Eight-time French champion Nantes was expected to continue with Conceicao this season after extending his contract until 2020. But Nantes said last week it had failed to persuade him to stay.
The former Portugal winger worked wonders in his short spell with Nantes. When Conceicao took charge in December the club was languishing in 19th place, but it went on to finish seventh - just outside of a spot in the Europa League.
Nantes won the last of its eight titles in 2001.