Claudio Ranieri arrives at Watford’s training ground ahead of becoming club’s new boss… with Italian set to take charge of his FOURTH Premier League side after they ruthlessly sacked Xisco Munoz at the weekend
- Claudio Ranieri has arrived at Watford’s training ground on Monday morning
- The Italian is set to replace Spaniard Xisco Munoz, who was sacked on Sunday
- The 69-year-old has had spells at Chelsea, Fulham and famously Leicester
- He would become the Hornets’ 16th permanent boss during the last 10 years
Claudio Ranieri has arrived at Watford’s training ground ahead of being named the club’s new boss.
The Italian emerged on Sunday as a serious contender to take the reins at Vicarage Road after Xisco Munoz became the first managerial casualty in the Premier League this season.
And now the 69-year-old looks set to take charge of a Premier League club for the fourth time in his career, following previous stints in west London with Chelsea and Fulham either side of his historic spell at Leicester.
Claudio Ranieri has arrived at Watford’s training ground ahead of becoming their new boss
The Italian is set to take over from Spaniard Xisco Munoz, who was sacked on Sunday
The expected appointment of Ranieri – who left Sampdoria in May after two years at the helm of the Serie A outfit – would mark a shock comeback to English football for one of the league’s most recognisable figures.
Ranieri led Leicester City to an unlikely Premier League title more than five years ago, some 16 years after his first job on these shores at Stamford Bridge.
He would go on to manage the likes of Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Inter Milan and Roma before a spell in charge at Fulham, but couldn’t save the club from top-flight relegation in 2019.
Ranieri however is now set to become the Hornets’ 16th different permanent boss over the course of the last decade, and the 13th since the Pozzo family completed their takeover of the club in 2012.
Ranieri would be the Hornets’ 16th different permanent boss over the last 10 years
The ex-Leicester boss’ first game in charge is set to see Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool visit Vicarage Road in the Premier League after the international break on October 16.
The Italian – who turns 70 later this month – is expected to take over after Watford made the ruthless decision to sack Spaniard Munoz after just 10 months in charge.
The 41-year-old led the club back to the Premier League in his first season, but the hierarchy were ultimately unsatisfied with their start of four defeats in their opening seven games back in the top flight.
The latest of those reverses came in their 1-0 defeat by Leeds on Saturday, leaving them in 15th place on seven points.
Xisco was popular among the Watford players and staff – particularly following Vladimir Ivic’s tenure – but his lack of control at the club was viewed as a clear indicator towards his departure.
‘The board feels recent performances strongly indicate a negative trend at a time when team cohesion should be visibly improving,’ the club said in a statement.
Ranieri led Leicester City to an unlikely Premier League title more than five years ago
‘The Hornets will always be grateful to Xisco for the part he played in securing last season’s promotion and wish him well for his future career in football.’
Munoz issued his own statement via Twitter after leaving Vicarage Road, saying: ‘It’s been a wonderful journey and it concluded in a way that I neither expected nor wished for.
‘I’m grateful and I will only remember all the good things I have experienced.
‘It’s a sad day for me and my family because it marks the end of a period at a club and in a city where we have felt at home.
‘I’ve got nothing but words of gratitude for the club that gave me the opportunity to start my first adventure in this exciting country.
‘My heartfelt thanks to the players to put blind faith and believing in me and my staff from the first moment so that together we could achieve the dream of promotion to the Premier League.
‘And many thanks to all the members of the club who don’t appear on the photos, because they are essential for the proper functioning of this team. You made my life so much easier.
‘Finally, I would like to make a special shout out to the fans. It’s only been a year, but I will never forget its intensity and the treatment you have always given me over the year. I will always be a Watford FC fan.’
17 WATFORD BOSSES IN 10 YEARS
Malkay McKay (Sacked June 2011)
Sean Dyche (June 2011-July 2012)
Gianfranco Zola (July 2012-December 2013)
Giuseppe Sannino (December 2013-August 2014)
Oscar Garcia (September 2014)
Billy McKinley (September 2014-October 2014)
Slavisa Jokanovic (October 2014-June 2015)
Quique Sanchez Flores (June 2015-May 2016)
Walter Mazzarri (July 2016-May 2017)
Marco Silva (May 2017-January 2018)
Javi Gracia (January 2018-September 2019)
Quique Sanchez Flores (September 2019-December 2019)
Hayden Mullins (Caretaker, December 2019)
Nigel Pearson (December 2019-July 2020)
Hayden Mullins (Caretaker, July 2020)
Vladimir Ivic (August 2020-December 2020)
Xisco Munoz (December 2020-October 2021)