Watford appoint Claudio Ranieri as new head coach

Claudio Ranieri former head coach of Sampdoria gestures during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria and Parma Calcio at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on May 22, 2021 in Genoa, Italy.


Watford have appointed Claudio Ranieri as their new manager, the Premier League club announced on Monday. Ranieri, who led Leicester to the Premier League title in 2016, agreed a two-year contract with the Hornets to replace the sacked Xisco Munoz.

"Watford FC is delighted to confirm the appointment of Claudio Ranieri as the club's new head coach, on a two-year contract," a statement on the club's website announced.

Ranieri takes over with Watford in 15th place in the Premier League after earning seven points from their opening seven matches.

The 69-year-old Italian left Sampdoria at the end of last season and had been looking to return to the game since then.

Xisco had led Watford to promotion from the Championship last season, but he was axed on Sunday after only 10 months in charge.

Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Leeds prompted Watford's owners, the Pozzo family, to act, with the club claiming a "negative trend" in performances had convinced them to move on from Xisco.

Coach Claudio Ranieri of Sampdoria during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria and Parma Calcio at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on May 22, 2021 in Genoa, Italy.

Former Chelsea boss Ranieri is Watford's 13th permanent manager since the Pozzo family took control of the club in 2012.

He boasts a wealth of experience, with clubs such as Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Juventus, Roma, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid also on his CV.

Ranieri last worked in the Premier League during a brief stint at Fulham in 2018-19.

Watford's first match with Ranieri in charge will be against Liverpool at Vicarage Road on October 16.

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