Leonardo Jardim

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Monaco re-hires Leonardo Jardim to replace Thierry Henry

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Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Despite firing manager Leonardo Jardim in October, Monaco has announced the French club is re-hiring the Venezuelan now tasked with rescuing the club that sits 19th in the Ligue 1 table.

Jardim was fired with Monaco bottom of the table, and French legend Thierry Henry was hired in his first managerial job to replace Jardim in October, hoping to pull the 2016/17 champions out of the basement. He was unable to rouse the troops to the relegation fight, winning just two league games in three months in charge.

Henry was placed on suspension Thursday as the club decided how to proceed, and a day later he was fired with Jardim placed back in charge. It was surprising that Jardim was fired in the first place, despite the poor position of the club. The 44-year-old has won a Ligue 1 title with Monaco and reached the semifinals of the Champions League as well. He also oversaw the development of numerous young players who went on to net the club massive transfer fees in the open market.

It was reported earlier in the week that Jardim could take charge as soon as Saturday, with the club facing a critical relegation battle with Dijon who sit just two points above Monaco in 18th. However, the club announced that Jardim will begin as Monaco boss on Sunday, meaning that interim manager Also potentially debuting this weekend is new signing Cesc Fabregas, who came over from Chelsea to help the relegation fight. Fabregas signed for Monaco while his former Arsenal teammate Henry was still in charge.

In the club release, vice president Vadim Vasilyev stated that he takes “full responsibility” for the “very complicated time” at the club. He also admitted numerous mistakes this summer and during the course of the season. “We are forced to see that we sold too many important players during the summer transfer window and despite considerable means invested errors were made to replace them,” Vasilyev said in the statement, “Which did not allow to compose a new competitive team. The dismissal decision of coach Leonardo Jardim was similarly too premature.”

Report: Leonardo Jardim set to manage Chinese club

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According to a pair of reports, including Italian journalist Gianluca di Marizo, Portuguese manager Leonardo Jardim is close to finalizing a deal with Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang.

Jardim was let go by AS Monaco in mid-October with the club shockingly battling relegation. His firing ended a four-year spell at the French club that saw him win a Ligue 1 title in 2016/17, earning him Ligue 1 Manager of the Year honors. However, Monaco sat 18th at the time of his departure, without a single league win since an opening day victory over FC Nantes.

Dalian Yifang is currently managed by German boss Bernd Schuster, who formerly led Real Madrid in 2008/09 and has also managed Malaga, Besiktas, and Shakhtar Donetsk in the past. However, the club finished the 2018 season 11th in the 16-team table and lost four of its last five matches. They have been on the lookout for a new manager for some time, despite only hiring Schuster in March. There were reports in early December that ousted Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli was a candidate for the job, although that never came about.

Notable players on the Dalian Yifang squad include 25-year-old Belgian international Yannick Carrasco and Argentinian winger Nicolas Gaitan. Jardim managed Carrasco at Monaco – his first professional experience after graduating from the Monaco youth side via Genk – before the Belgian left for Atletico Madrid in 2015.

Jardim was known for his ability to incorporate young players from the famed Monaco youth academy into his squad successfully, and the club was able to make a profit on numerous graduates over his time at the club. However, the club often toed a fine line of balancing the sale of young players with maintaining a competitive squad, and when this summer saw the official departures of Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar, and Fabinho all for big money, it seemed Monaco would struggle for league form. Still, few expected Monaco to be in a relegation battle, and they still sit 19th despite firing Jardim and bringing in Thierry Henry for his first managerial position.

Reports: Fulham inquired about Wenger, AVB, Jardim

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Arsene Wenger turned down a chance to return to the Premier League, as he vowed, as one of three managers chased by Fulham before deciding on Claudio Ranieri.

[ MORE: England-USMNT preview ]

The Telegraph claims that Wenger was joined by former Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim and well-traveled former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas as candidates pursued by Fulham in a bid to replace Slavisa Jokanovic.

From The Telegraph:

They included Wenger and both Jardim, who recently left Monaco after winning the French title two years ago when he also led them to the Champions League semi-finals and is being considered by a number Premier League clubs, and former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur manager Villas-Boas. It is understood that all three managers politely declined the opportunity to speak to Fulham.

The 41-year-old Villas-Boas had twice managed London clubs in the Premier League, faring better with Spurs than Chelsea.

He would have been an interesting hire, though Ranieri could be a stroke of genius; Both are players managers, though Ranieri is a bit more of a friendly leader than the fiery Jokanovic.

Report: Henry set to take Monaco job as Jardim shown door

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One of the most gifted talents in world soccer history could be taking the reins of a club known for developing such players.

Thierry Henry is about to get the keys to AS Monaco, the club that raised him, as the floundering French club is set to fire Leonardo Jardim according to ESPN.

[ PL ROUNDTABLE: The story so far ]

Monaco has just one win in nine matches to start the Ligue 1 season, and sits in 18th place. It’s also lost its first two Champions League matches of the group stage ahead of two must-win contests with Club Brugge.

Henry, 41, saw his star rise this summer as an assistant to Roberto Martinez in Belgium’s impressive World Cup run.

Monaco has sold an almost overwhelming amount of talent in the past few seasons, sending Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar, Fabinho, Terence Kongolo, Joao Moutinho, Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Bernardo Silva, and oh my goodness I’m still typing.

Henry was reportedly offered the Bordeaux job earlier this season, but patience has paid off for the former Arsenal, Barcelona, and New York Red Bulls star.

Going the Zinedine Zidane route is intriguing for Monaco and Henry, who will not be expected to push the squad from a relegation fight to the title, and will have plenty of patience and the opportunity to either rescue the Champions League campaign or run the club into a Europa League experience.

With new pieces Aleksandr Golovin and Nacer Chadli joining Danijel Subasic, Kamil Glik, Youri Tielemans, and Radamel Falcao, the club will be fine in Ligue 1. And if Henry can develop youngsters like Moussa Sylla, Willem Geubbels, and Pietro Pellegri (when healthy), he’ll only grow his star in Europe. If he fails, so what? The club won’t be relegated and a native son will likely be viewed as a man in a bare cupboard situation.

Monaco loses again, digs deeper Ligue 1 hole

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AS Monaco is suddenly in deep, deep trouble. It didn’t seem real, merely just an early-season phase, but slowly it’s becoming more and more palpable.

The 2016/17 Ligue 1 champions lost 2-1 to Stade Rennais on a 77th minute winner by Hatem Ben Arfa (remember him?), dropping its fourth straight match across all competitions, and their seventh loss in the last nine matches. The club is without a win since August 11th when they won their season opener against Nantes.

Ben Arfa’s goal was a cracking shot, but also a product of terrible goalkeeping as Danijel Subasic will wish he had reacted earlier to give him a chance at saving the effort. It had been coming though, as Monaco had been reduced to 10 men just seconds before halftime on a moment of sheer idiocy when 34-year-old defender Andrea Raggi was caught clearly catching Clément Grenier with a right hook on a corner.

The bright side for Monaco is they actually scored, with Radamel Falcao bagging a man-down goal soon after the break. Scoring is something Monaco hadn’t done in a whopping 382 minutes across all competitions.

Still, the silver linings end there. Monaco is now 18th in the Ligue 1 table, four points back of safety already. The club sold a host of young players over the summer, including Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar, and Fabinho, but that should not have doomed a club with seemingly endless young talent to such depths of the table. Leonardo Jardim was a highly-coveted name this offseason but chose to stay with Monaco, and that could potentially backfire should things continue to fester.