Following reports over the last 48 hours, Sampdoria has indeed hired Italian manager Claudio Ranieri, replacing Eusebio Di Francesco who was let go after a horrid start of six defeats in the first seven matches.
Ranieri takes over for Di Francesco for the second time this calendar year, having served as Roma caretaker manager in March after Di Francesco was fired. The Italian’s first match in charge of Sampdoria will come against Roma next Sunday on his 68th birthday.
The former Leicester City and Fulham boss reportedly signs on a two-year contract with an option to terminate should the team be relegated. Sampdoria has been a fixture in Serie A since 1950, relegated four times in that span but only spending 11 combined seasons outside the top flight in that span.
Aside from winning the Premier League with the Foxes against all odds, Ranieri has won silverware with Valencia and Fiorentina, plus lower-league silverware at Cagliari and Monaco.
According to reports, a pair of other managers in Stefano Pioli and Gennaro Gattuso both turned down the position before Ranieri accepted. Pioli accepted the AC Milan position just three days ago, while Gattuso reportedly considered the job before turning it down. Former Sampdoria manager Marco Giampaolo became available after being fired at AC Milan just days ago, but Serie A rules stipulate that a manager can only work for one top flight club in a season.
Sampdoria has been miserable this season, scoring just four goals while conceding 16 through the first seven matches of the season. Their lone win, a 1-0 victory over Torino in late September, is sandwiched by a pair of three-game losing streaks. For what it’s worth, their early-season schedule has been difficult, with home defeats to Lazio and Fiorentina plus a home loss to Napoli. Things get a bit easier for Ranieri despite the opener against Roma, facing just one more top-seven side before meeting Juventus in late December.