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Leicester caretaker manager dismisses foul play rumours in Ranieri’s sacking

London: Leicester caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare has rejected any claims sacked boss Claudio Ranieri had lost the dressing room. The 53-year-old also revealed he was shocked Ranieri was axed, having been told just 10 minutes before the news was made public on Thursday night.

Leicester are a point above the Premier League relegation zone after losing their last five games, having won the title by 10 points last season.

Players wanted him out?
Reports had suggested some players had spoken to the club’s Thai owners to voice their concerns over Ranieri’s reign but Shakespeare dismissed rumours of any unrest. “I’m not aware of any senior players going to the owners so that’s news to me,” he said. “What I would say, there was a lot of frustration because of results but he hadn’t lost the dressing room,” he said.

“Players have a voice, we have a good group of players who are tactically aware. You listen to the players but it’s the manager who makes the final call. “From a football point of view I have to tell you that the players are very professional. They are very hurt and very frustrated. I’ve not had one problem with them on the training field. They are very diligent and professional. “They will be very disappointed, like everybody else, that the manager has lost his job.”


Shakespeare

Sevilla defeat did it
The Foxes flew back following the 2-1 Champions League defeat at Sevilla on Thursday, and Ranieri was told he was fired by director of football Jon Rudkin when they landed.

Shakespeare admitted no-one, including Ranieri, saw the decision coming and also insisted his relationship with the former manager had not soured. “We flew back from Seville, I arrived home and had a call, just before the news broke, from the director of football Jon Rudkin to tell me what was happening, asking me to take care of the next game. I’m very comfortable with the relationship, there’s no hidden agenda from me. An assistant manager is there to support the manager in any way the manager sees fit,” Shakespeare added.

Five possible replacements

Roberto Mancini
The former Man City manager is available after leaving Inter Milan last year

David Wagner
The German has earned many plaudits for the work he has done at Huddersfield having turned them into realistic promotion contenders in Championship

Roy Hodgson
The former England manager is keen on a return to football and could be the man to guide Leicester out of relegation trouble

Frank de Boer
Dutchman De Boer is another outsider who is available after leaving Inter

Nigel Pearson
The 53-year-old has already had two spells with Leicester and a third would be a bigger surprise than Ranieri’s initial appointment

Relegation from EPL could cost Leicester £100 million
Leicester’s Thai owners sacked Claudio Ranieri because relegation would cost them over £100m. Crashing out of EPL would be a huge blow to Leicester’s owners. Dropping into the Championship carries such severe financial damage that they felt they had little choice but to dismiss Ranieri. With a new £5 billion ($6.2 billion) TV deal coming into force this season, the prize for staying up has never been greater. Every EPL club in the 2016-17 season will pocket at least £100 million in prize money.
AFP

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