Claudio Ranieri

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Sampdoria officially hires Claudio Ranieri as manager

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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.

Ranieri reportedly back in management with Sampdoria

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Multiple reports say Claudio Ranieri is returning to Serie A, and that he’ll be making his debut against a familiar foe.

Ranieri is set to replace Eusebio Di Francesco, again, as the Premier League winner this time takes the reins at Sampdoria.

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Di Francesco was fired after a 1-6 start to life at Sampdoria, and both Gennaro Gattuso and Giuseppe Iachini were mentioned as possibilities to fill the opening.

Ranieri takes over at his eighth club in Italy, having won silverware in four countries. The latest was Leicester City’s amazing run to the 2015-16 Premier League crown, while he’s won Ligue 2 with Monaco, Serie B with Fiorentina, and the Copa del Rey with Valencia

While Di Francesco is a very good manager, he did not have the love of the room. Perhaps Ranieri can at least restore Samp to its mid-table place.

Ranieri, Van Bronckhorst reportedly eyeing up Newcastle opening

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Newcastle United’s soon-to-be vacant manager’s seat will be filled quickly, and there’s plenty of interest in the position.

While Jose Mourinho isn’t interested in being at the helm of a team which will not challenge for silverware, others believe Newcastle can be a place of success and want to take over for out-of-contract Rafa Benitez.

Sky Sports say that Claudio Ranieri is interested in making Newcastle his fourth Premier League job, having led Chelsea, Leicester City, and Fulham.

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Ranieri finished the season with Roma following his dismissal from Fulham, where he was one of three managers to fail in a bid to keep the Cottagers in the Premier League.

And Sky also says that Giovanni van Bronckhorst is intrigued by the idea of Northeast England. The 44-year-old Dutch centurion managed boyhood club Feyenoord from 2015-19, leading the club to two KNVB Cups and its first Eredivisie title in 18 years.

Gennaro Gattuso continues to be mentioned as a possibility, and the oddsmakers seem to think ex-Swansea boss Garry Monk, veteran manager David Moyes, and Man City assistant Mikel Arteta are the favorites for the job.

Report: Mourinho in contact with Inter and Roma

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According to a report by Sky Sports Italia, former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been in contact with Italian clubs Roma and Inter Milan about managing next season.

Mourinho most notably spent time at Inter between 2008 and 2010 where he won the treble in his second season before leaving to join Real Madrid.

Both clubs have managers currently in place, but neither is terribly secure in their position. Inter manager Luciano Spalletti has come under fire for his handling of the Mauro Icardi situation, and while the player has taken much of the public blame, Spalletti left Icardi out of the matchday squad this past weekend, seen as a mishandling of the former captain’s return. Meanwhile, Roma boss Claudio Ranier, hired just a few weeks ago to replace the fired Eusebio Di Francesco, has been thus far unable to engineer a return to form to help the club challenge for a Champions League place.

According to another report in the Italian tabloids, Mourinho would be especially willing to return to Inter, where he would take a sort of “hometown discount” lowering his wage demands from $11 million to $9 million per year. However, Inter CEO Beppe Marotta is reportedly leaning towards Antonio Conte as another possibility.

The Sky Sports Italia report claims that while Roma has spoken to Mourinho over the phone, not much else in the way of negotiations has progressed.

Since his dismissal at Manchester United, Mourinho has worked as an analyst on television, employed mostly in Russia. There has been some speculation that Mourinho could also be a candidate for Bayern Munich in the event the German club decides to part ways with Niko Kovac.

Claudio Ranieri calls Roma ‘not a team’ after loss to SPAL

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Roma suffered a 2-1 road loss to SPAL, and new manager Claudio Ranieri reacted strongly to the possibility that the club will miss out on Champions League qualification next season.

The Italian stated after the game that Roma “played against a team and we were not a team. Effort without organization is not enough.”

Ranieri did not stop there. He eviscerated his player, saying their desire did not match what the game required, and that the players were unable to keep up with SPAL’s effort level, with the home side fighting relegation.

“We lost practically every duel, especially the ones played to feet, and you could see their desperation,” Ranieri said. “SPAL then tried to stall and waste time in the second half, which I fully understand in their circumstances. There are some players who don’t have these characteristics, others are lacking confidence at the moment, but between the two sides, SPAL were certainly more determined.”

Roma out-shot the home side 16-10, but each team finished with four on target. Diego Perotti scored for the visitors in the 55th minute to level things out, but just four minutes later SPAL restored its lead as Juan Jesus committed a foul in the area and Andrea Petagna buried the effort.

After the poor effort, Ranieri said his players could face the axe if they don’t improve. “We need to be more determined, more of a team and also improve our tactics, because we ran hard, but with no real reasoning and that’s not good enough. If Roma go into the Champions League, that is one thing. If they don’t, then quite a few will get a change of scenery. I’ve told the lads since the first day, they have to prove themselves.”

Roma sits three points back of a Champions League place in fifth, but with the loss all four teams above them now have a game in hand as well.