Tinkerman set for managerial return

Sampdoria
Claudio Ranieri says his players need to 'fight until the end' as Fulham bid to avoid Premier League relegation this season.

Claudio Ranieri looks set for a spectacular return to management by taking over at Serie A strugglers Sampdoria.

Former Leicester boss Ranieri is widely expected to succeed Eusebio Di Francesco at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, with Sampdoria currently sitting bottom of the Serie A standings with just one win and six defeats from their opening seven games.

It will be the second time that the 67-year-old has succeeded Di Francesco in the space of seven months, as he also replaced the former Italy international for the final few weeks of last season at Roma.

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Ranieri is certainly not short when it comes to managerial experience, as his career began over 30 years ago and he has held 17 different positions, taking charge of the likes of Chelsea, Juventus and Valencia, as well as also trying his hand on the international stage with Greece.

Of course, Ranieri’s greatest achievement in management undoubtedly has to be when he guided Leicester to one of the biggest shocks in footballing history, as the Foxes defied 5000/1 odds to win the Premier League title in 2016.

The Italian was unceremoniously sacked by the Foxes just nine months after that title success and since then he has had brief spells in charge at Nantes and Fulham before steering Roma to a sixth-place finish in Serie A last season.

Affectionately known as the ‘Tinkerman’ following his time at Chelsea where he was renowned for regularly changing his starting line-up, Ranieri’s first task, if he does take over at Sampdoria, will be to steady the ship.

Samp were certainly not expected to be battling relegation this season, as they are more accustomed to challenging at the right end of the table having finished in the top half of the Serie A standings in each of the last three seasons.

Ranieri will certainly have an abundance of quality to work with if he does take over at the Genoa-based club, as Italy international Fabio Quagliarella currently skippers the team and, although he is now 36, he did finish as the league’s leading marksman last season with a staggering 26 goals.

There are also familiar names to Premier League followers in the squad, with former Southampton duo Gaston Ramirez and Manolo Gabbiadini both having featured regularly this season, as has midfielder Ronaldo Vieira, who started his career at Leeds.

It would certainly appear to be a good move for all concerned if Ranieri did take over at Samp, but given the Tinkerman’s tendency to not stick in a job for too long, it could prove a short but sweet partnership.

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