The managers in the frame to replace Claudio Ranieri at Leicester

Millwall v Leicester City - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round

It was almost inevitable. After leading Leicester City to unprecedented success last season by delivering their first, and will likely be their only Premier League title, the club announced the departure of manager Claudio Ranieri with them hovering just a place above the relegation zone.

Having lost key midfielder N'Golo Kante to Chelsea last summer, the Italian tactician failed to replace him adequately and thus lost the very element that made them such an irresistible force.

It's a sad indictment of where the game is at these days. Just nine months ago Ranieri was sat sipping champagne and reflecting on a job well done, but now he'll be pondering his next move.

However, by the same token, he'd failed to keep them amongst the pack at the top and there is a real danger that just 12 months after lifting the title, the Foxes will be back in the Championship.

It's a big job for whoever will replace him, and given that the board backed the under fire boss last month, fans will be hoping that the club has a contingency plan in place.

But who will replace him?

According to the Telegraph, there are already a number of names being touted, and below we're bringing you the top five candidates.

Gary Rowett - 10/1

One man in the picture in Gary Rowett. The former Leicester defender was harshly sacked by Championship side Birmingham City earlier this season and has been without a job since.

Though he's not had any top flight experience yet, many feel he's earned his stripes and given what he did at the Blues he's shown he could get something out of this Leicester team.

Rangers v Inverness - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Mark Warburton - 10/1

Another manager who has built up a solid reputation for himself in the lower leagues. He left to take over at Rangers and oversee their return to the SPL, but amazingly quit his post earlier this month.

He's still highly thought of south of the border, though, and could be worth a gamble at 10/1 on a short term deal.

Avram Grant - 8/1

Having enjoyed spells with Chelsea and Portsmouth in the past, Grant has been away from English football for a while now.

He led Ghana to the semi-final of the African Cup of Nations this year, but has a reputation as a perennial runner up.

Nigel Pearson - 6/1

Pearson was in the Foxes hot seat before Ranieri took over and according to some reports a number of Leicester players want him back.

He's known for his questionable antics on the sidelines and in press conferences, but he has proved that he can galvanise a struggling side.

Crystal Palace v Chelsea - Premier League

Alan Pardew - 5/1

Pards is the current favourite for the role having been dismissed by Crystal Palace recently and there's no denying that he would provide the club with the necessary bounce to propel them away from the drop zone.

However, as he's proved before, he doesn't always have what it takes to take a team further than that.

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