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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.

Gattuso talking with Sampdoria as AC Milan fires his replacement

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Rino to I Blucerchiati?

Rising manager and tank of a midfielder Gennaro Gattuso is considering a return to Serie A with Sampdoria after the club fired Eusebio Di Francesco this weekend.

Sampdoria beat Torino and lost its other six matches. It sits 20th in Serie A, miles off the standard of its consistent mid-table finishes the past three seasons.

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Gattuso, 41, is best-known for his 468 appearances with AC Milan, where he twice won Serie A and the UEFA Champions League.

He’d move on to manage I Rossoneri after stints at Palermo, Crete, and Pisa. He led Milan to the cusp of  Champions League qualification, and resigned afterwards citing the stress that accompanied running a club he loved so much.

But Milan has already changed managers, too, firing Marco Giampaolo after collecting just nine points through seven matches. The side had seen a man sent off in three-straight matches, and four on the young season.

Could Gattuso rethink his exit from Milan despite these reports of advanced talks with Sampdoria.

Football-Italia says Gattuso turned down the chance to take over Genoa recently, and he was linked with Newcastle United over the summer and Inter Miami last month.

Capped 73 times by Italy, Gattuso is a World Cup winner.

Sampdoria parts ways with coach Di Francesco

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ROME — Sampdoria has parted ways with coach Eusebio Di Francesco after losing six of its first seven Serie A matches of the season.

Sampdoria said on its website Monday that the decision was made by mutual consent.

 [ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule

Sampdoria is in last place in Serie A with just three points. Club president Massimo Ferrero said after Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Hellas Verona that he would meet with Di Francesco on Sunday before making a decision on his future.

Sampdoria did not immediately announce a new coach, but Italian media reported that Giuseppe Iachini is the favorite to replace Di Francesco.

Serie A roundup: Inter edge 10-man Udinese

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Napoli and Inter Milan walked away winners in Saturday’s Serie A action.

Inter Milan 1-0 Udinese

After three games, Antonio Conte‘s spell at Inter Milan remains in immaculate shape.

According to the table, there is no better team than I Nerazzurri, who have won their first three league matches – notching seven goals and conceding only one along the way. In other words, the Italian’s astute coaching style remains effective.

Despite, Inter’s convincing play throughout the 90 minutes, only a goal would separate them from visiting Udinese, who played a with 10 players from the 35th minute on, following Rodrigo De Pual’s slap to the back of Antonio Candreva’s head.

In the 44th minute, Stefano Sensi – one of the smallest players on the field – headed the ball into the back of the net. Late in the game, Alexis Sanchez nearly scored in his Inter debut.

In the end, Udinese were no match for Antonio Conte and Co., who find themselves in prime form heading into their Champions League return midweek.

Up next for Inter in league play: Derby della Madonnina. Udinese, on the hand, host Brescia.

Napoli 2-0 Sampdoria

Dries Mertens is the gift that keeps on giving for Napoli.

To be exact, the Belgian gifted his team two goals on Saturday. 13 minutes in, following a perfectly-placed cross from Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Mertens’ first-time strike was unstoppable for Emil Audero.
Emiliano Rigoni had Sampdoria’s best chance of the night in a one-on-one opportunity with Alex Meret. The Argentine, however, wasted one of the visiting side’s two chances all night.
Then in the 67th minute – with some luck on his corner -Mertens completed his brace off a deflected shot, giving his team their second win of the season.

Quick turnaround for Napoli as they host Liverpool midweek before traveling to take on Lecce in league play, while Sampdoria take on Torino next.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Fiorentina 0-0 Juventus