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Claudio Ranieri confirmed as Watford’s new boss after the Hornets sacked Xisco Munoz

Claudio Ranieri CONFIRMED as Watford’s new boss… with Italian taking charge of his fourth Premier League side after they ruthlessly sacked Xisco Munoz at the weekend

  • Claudio Ranieri was confirmed as Watford’s new manager on Monday afternoon
  • The Italian replaces Spaniard Xisco Munoz, who was sacked on Sunday 
  • The 69-year-old has had spells at Chelsea, Fulham and famously Leicester City
  • He becomes the Hornets’ 16th permanent boss during the last 10 years 

Claudio Ranieri has sealed his shock return to English football after being confirmed as Watford’s new head coach on Monday.

On Sunday, Sportsmail revealed the Italian, 69, had emerged as a contender to replace Xisco Munoz, who was sacked after Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Leeds.

And Ranieri’s appointment was ratified on Monday, as he arrived at the club’s Hertfordshire training complex to complete his move to the Hornets. 

Popular Italian manager Claudio Ranieri has been confirmed as Watford ‘s new head coach

The Italian replaces Spaniard Xisco Munoz (above) , who was sacked by the Hornets on Sunday

The Italian replaces Spaniard Xisco Munoz (above) , who was sacked by the Hornets on Sunday


Relegation Odds by Betfair 

Norwich 1/4

Newcastle 8/11

Watford 4/5

Burnley 11/10

Crystal Palace 11/4

Southampton 16/5

Leeds 17/2

Brentford 9/1

Ranieri has signed a contract until the end of next season and will be joined at Vicarage Road by assistant coaches Paolo Benetti and Carlo Cornacchia, along with fitness coach Carlo Spignoli.

He is now tasked with trying to keep Watford in the Premier League after their return to the top-flight. 

Xisco has left the club four points clear of safety after seven games.

Ranieri pulled off arguably English football’s greatest achievement in 2016 by leading Leicester to the title. He also had a four-year stint at Chelsea, losing the job to Jose Mourinho in 2004, and a three-month spell at Fulham before being sacked in February 2019.   

The appointment of Ranieri – who left Sampdoria in May after two years at the helm of the Serie A outfit – marks a shock comeback to English football for one of the league’s most recognisable figures.

Ranieri led Leicester to an unlikely 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 could not save the club from top-flight relegation in 2019.

Ranieri however is now 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.

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.

Ranieri is the Hornets' 16th different permanent boss at Vicarage Road over the last 10 years

Ranieri is the Hornets’ 16th different permanent boss at Vicarage Road over the last 10 years

Ranieri led Leicester City to an unlikely Premier League title more than five years ago

Ranieri led Leicester City to an unlikely Premier League title more than five years ago


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)

Claudio Ranieri (October 2021-present) 

Over the weekend, 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.

‘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.’