Claudio Ranieri replacement: Mancini, Hiddink, O'Neill, Pearson, Redknapp

By Phil McNultyChief football writer
Is Pearson the man for the Leicester job?

Leicester City's owners are turning their attention to finding the manager to ensure Premier League safety after the shock decision to sack Claudio Ranieri, the man who brought them a historic title only nine months ago.

The ruthless dismissal of 65-year-old Ranieri has prompted outrage in many quarters - but fears that the Foxes were heading into the Championship a year after being crowned champions brought about his departure.

So, with 13 games left this season, who could Leicester City turn to in the search for Ranieri's replacement?

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini of Leicester City
Roberto Mancini played on loan for Leicester City in 2001

The Italian who led Manchester City to their first title in 44 years in 2012 played four games for Leicester City in 2001 and has talked positively of the club in the past.

Mancini, 52, is available after leaving Inter Milan in the summer and would be happy to return to the Premier League at some point.

The combustible Italian, whose fiery nature led to several confrontations at Manchester City, is a master of defensive organisation and would command instant respect in Leicester's dressing room - he would certainly take on any dissenting voice.

Would he feel this is a bad time to take over? He is a friend of the sacked Ranieri.

Suitability: 8

Guus Hiddink

Guus Hiddink
Guus Hiddink has had two spells in charge of Chelsea

The 70-year-old Dutch coach is vastly experienced and won a reputation as a football firefighter who can calm a troubled dressing room after two interim spells at Chelsea in 2009, when he won the FA Cup and reached the Champions League semi-final, and again last season.

Cool nature and vast experience makes him an attractive proposition, even on an interim basis, but is not familiar with fighting relegation.

Suitability: 7

Martin O'Neill

Martin ONeill and Matt Elliott of Leicester City hold the cup
Martin O'Neill won two League Cups with Leicester City

The 64-year-old Republic of Ireland manager is a Leicester City legend after taking them into the Premier League and twice winning the League Cup during his spell in charge between 1995 and 2000.

He would be greeted like a returning hero and has exactly the manner to lift the dressing room and supporters in an instant.

He is, though, currently plotting the Republic of Ireland's route to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and enjoys the challenges of international football so this might be a case of right man at the wrong time.

Suitability: 7

Nigel Pearson

Nigel Pearson
Nigel Pearson has had two spells in charge of Leicester

Pearson was the man who saved Leicester City from relegation two years ago, engineering a remarkable escape as they became only the third Premier League team to stay up after being bottom at Christmas.

He also put many of the building blocks in place for Ranieri. He knows the club, knows most of the players and knows what is needed to survive.

Problems? A confrontational, blunt nature saw him involved in several clashes during what was his second spell at the King Power Stadium, including a touchline tangle with Crystal Palace's James McArthur.

He was sacked by the current Thai owners in 2015 after they said "fundamental differences in perspective exist". Has that changed?

Suitability: 7

Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson
Hodgson has been out of work since resigning as England manager in June

Hodgson resigned as England manager last summer after the humiliating last-16 exit to Iceland at Euro 2016 - which would make him a hard sell to Leicester City's fans after the much-loved Ranieri.

It's worth remembering, though, that he kept Fulham up after being appointed in December 2007 when they were 18th, two points from safety and had only won two league games before he arrived. He subsequently took them to the Europa League final.

Hodgson also performed solidly at West Bromwich Albion, where his pragmatic, organised style worked. He wants to return to football and Leicester has the sort of profile that might suit him. He is experienced and has never lacked confidence.

Suitability: 6

Frank de Boer

Frank de Boer
De Boer won four successive Eredivisie titles with Ajax between 2010 and 2014

A candidate simply by virtue of being available after being sacked by Inter Milan in November after only 85 days in charge, having a big reputation and being someone who has made no secret of his wish to work in the Premier League.

De Boer, despite successes at Ajax, has no Premier League experience and his studied, passing style may not be what is required when a 13-game emergency success is called for.

Suitability: 5

Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew
Pardew was sacked by Crystal Palace in December 2016

Pardew is available and keen to return to football, but the 55-year-old would have to bridge a credibility gap. He was sacked by Crystal Palace in December amid relegation fears and with the Eagles in 17th place - the position Leicester City currently occupy and which prompted Ranieri's dismissal.

Pardew is a boom and bust manager, with wild fluctuations in form - would Leicester want to walk into one of his bust periods?

Suitability: 5

Craig Shakespeare

Craig Shakespeare
Shakespeare followed Nigel Pearson out of Leicester in 2008 but stayed on as Ranieri's assistant when Pearson left for a second time in 2015

Leicester City's current assistant manager is the in-house candidate and will take charge against Liverpool unless an appointment is made before Monday.

The 53-year-old, in his second spell on Leicester's staff after being brought in by Nigel Pearson, was a key component of Ranieri's title-winning staff and was highly regarded enough as a coach to work under Sam Allardyce in his brief spell as England manager.

He knows Leicester's players, has seen it all unravel this season - but has no full-time management experience. Would be a risk.

Suitability: 5

Gary Rowett

Gary Rowett
Gary Rowett played for Leicester between 2000 and 2002

Rowett, 42, won a reputation as emerging young English manager for his work at Burton Albion and Birmingham City, where he was surprisingly sacked in December with Blues lying seventh in the Championship.

He played 49 games in a spell at the Foxes between 2000 and 2002, but it would be risk for himself and Leicester to be thrown into what is effectively a 13-game fight against relegation. This one may have come too soon.

Suitability: 4

Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp won the FA Cup in 2008 with Portsmouth

The perennial presence in the bookies' list thanks to availability and his willingness to accept any sort of challenge - a rank outsider, who, at 69, may just feel as if his managerial life has been lived after his last spell as an advisor to Derby County last season.

Redknapp knows what it is to be in a relegation fight, with success at Portsmouth but failure at Southampton and QPR, the latter he did not save but did return to the Premier League the following season. The shortest of short-term options and highly unlikely - but after Ranieri's sacking who would predict anything?

Suitability: 2


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.


Top Stories

Explore the BBC