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Claudio Ranieri in talks to become new Watford head coach

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Watford are in talks with former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri, with the club looking to act swiftly after sacking Xisco Munoz.

Munoz was relieved of his duties on Sunday morning following the 1-0 defeat to Leeds United, which leaves the Hornets in 14th place in the Premier League – a decent start many would argue considering it’s their first season back in the top flight.

But it’s not decent enough in the eyes of Watford owner Gino Pozzo, and he’s moving quickly to find a replacement. Known for favouring managers from his native in Italy, it appears Ranieri is the man he wants to bring in – Gianluca Di Marzio state that talks are underway.

Ranieri is reportedly ready to accept the proposal, returning to English football after a difficult spell with Fulham.

The Italian took over at Craven Cottage in November 2018, but he was sacked just two months later after failing to reverse the club’s ailing fortunes.

His luck has improved since those tough few months in England, having taken charge at AS Roma in March 2019 with the club in disarray. He steadied the ship and left at the end of the season, before becoming Sampdoria coach in October of that year.

Samp performed well under Ranieri, as he helped them recover from a nightmare start to the season to finish in 15th place, before securing a top-half finish in the 2020/21 campaign. He then announced that he would not continue his work at the club.

UC Sampdoria v Parma Calcio - Serie A

Ranieri is best remembered in England for his spell as Leicester manager, inspiring the Foxes to an unthinkable Premier League title in 2016.

Those exploits will give hope to Watford fans, who must be fearing being sucked into a relegation battle after parting company with yet another manager. Munoz was only appointed in December of last year, replacing Vladimir Ivic, and guided the Hornets back to the Premier League from the Championship with ease.

They then won their first game back in the top tier, and also secured an important victory over Norwich City. But the board sensed a ‘negative trend’ in the team off the back of a 1-0 loss to Leeds United, and decided to sack Munoz after 10 months in charge.