Claudio Ranieri was out of a job for just over a week.
After being fired by Fulham last Thursday, the veteran Italian coach has taken over at his former club AS Roma after they fired Eusebio Di Franceso on Thursday in the aftermath of the Italian giants losing at FC Porto in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
Ranieri, 67, is a lifelong Roma fan and is returning home to Rome. He simply said: “I’m delighted to be coming back home. When Roma call you, it’s impossible to say no.”
This will be his second spell in charge of the Stadio Olimpico club, and his remit is clear: make sure Roma finish in the top four of Serie A and qualify for the Champions League. They are currently three points off the top four with 12 games to go.
“We are delighted to welcome Claudio Ranieri back to the club,” said AS Roma President Jim Pallotta. “We have one objective remaining this season and that is to finish in the highest possible league position and secure qualification for the Champions League. At this stage of the campaign, it was important to bring in a coach who knows the club, understands the environment, can speak the language and is able to motivate the players. Claudio ticks all of those boxes and he’s very excited to take on this challenge.”
There are plenty of ins and outs at Roma…
Roma’s sporting director Monchi left on Friday, as expected, and many believe he will now head to Arsenal to take up a similar position.
Monchi, 50, still had two years left on the contract he signed in 2017 after he was lauded for building a hugely successful squad at Sevilla during his 17 years as their sporting director.
Roma said in a statement that “the two parties have reached a mutual agreement to bring an early end to their professional relationship.”
Current Arsenal boss Unai Emery worked closely with Monchi at Sevilla, with Monchi getting Emery the players to build one of the top teams in Europe as they won three-straight Europa League trophies and competed regularly in the UEFA Champions League.
The Gunners’ head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, left the club in February after just over a year in his position.
Monchi’s close relationship with Emery will be of huge importance to Arsenal, as they try to rebuild their team off the pitch with Ivan Gazidis also leaving for AC Milan in recent months.