Could West Ham take a chance on Claudio Ranieri?

by Jack Kitson / 17 May 2018, 22:09

West Ham have stated their desire to appoint a “high-calibre first-team manager who has a proven record both in the Premier League and European football.”

If the Hammers hierarchy are serious about this, then look no further than Claudio Ranieri.

In a matter of days he will be ready and available, having today (Thursday) revealed that he'll be leaving French side Nantes on Saturday after their final game of the Ligue 1 campaign.

You’ll need no reminding that Ranieri memorably conjured up the most miraculous managerial achievement of all time in leading 5,000/1 shots Leicester City to the Premier League title.

The Italian has also worked over on these shores at Chelsea, while in terms of European experience he's managed in the Champions League, UEFA Cup, Intertoto Cup, France, Italy, Spain, and he's even ventured into the international managerial arena with Greece, although we'll forget that stint for now.

In the trophy cabinet he's got the aforementioned Premier League trophy, domestic cups in Spain and Italy, plus a few lower-league titles in those countries and France, while he also led Valencia to Intertoto Cup glory.

After news broke of Ranieri’s imminent Nantes departure he was immediately handed odds of 25/1 to become the Next West Ham Manager, while he can now be found at 10/1 (Paddy Power), making him the third favourite in the betting.

Ranieri himself has said:

“I’ll take the time to relax, and if something nice comes along then I’ll think about it.”

While we can’t promise him it will be nice, an appointment at West Ham would be incredibly interesting, while his humour, wit and affability would make the most welcome of returns to England’s top-flight.

Now, history tells us that West Ham’s double-act owners don’t tend to stay true to their word.

Earlier this season they said Slaven Bilic was safe, only to sack him a few days later.

Slav’s replacement, good old David Moyes, lasted just six months, despite David Gold stating that he would like the Scot to continue.

We all know that the Hammers are keen to prize Rafa Benitez away from Newcastle, but in reality is that going to happen?

Probably not, although you never know these days.

Manuel Pellegrini has consistently been linked with the Irons over the years, yet has never actually been tempted to take charge.

He’s currently earning a fortune over in China, and while he’s spoken about his desire to one day return to the Premier League, he’s also previously said he wants to manage in the Champions League.

Paulo Fonseca has already held talks with the club, but now seems to be signing a new deal with Shakhtar Donetsk, with whom he’s just led to the double-double.

So why not give Ranieri a try.

The 66-year-old may be at the backend of his managerial career, but he still has buckets of passion and enthusiasm, along with the potential to conjure up something special.

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