Parma coach Claudio Ranieri could be installed as Manchester City manager as early as next week.

The former Chelsea boss has been identified as the preferred successor to Stuart Pearce by prospective new owner Thaksin Shinawatra.

Although Ranieri has denied any contact with the Blues, it is believed contact has been made through a third party, with the Italian indicating a willingness to return to the Premiership at the end of his short spell with Parma.

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