Jose Mourinho sent Claudio Ranieri a touching message on Instagram in the wake of his dismissal at Leicester City.
“Champion of England and FIFA Manager of the Year. Sacked,” Mourinho wrote about the man he replaced at Chelsea 13 years ago.
“That’s the new football Claudio. Keep smiling Amico. Nobody can delete the history you wrote.”
Jose’s spot on. Though Ranieri will be feeling incredibly sad right now, nobody can take his Premier League winner’s medal away from him.
The Italian’s sacking at Leicester, announced on Thursday evening, has left the football world in shock. Nine months ago, Ranieri completed the greatest triumph in the sport’s history; now he finds himself searching for a new job.
Gary Lineker summed it up best on Twitter.
The Match of the Day host wrote: “After all that Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad.”
Precarious position in the table
In a statement on the club’s website, Leicester’s vice chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said the Foxes’ position in the table - they’re 17th, one point above the relegation zone - was the reason for Ranieri’s departure.
“Indeed, survival in the Premier League was our first and only target at the start of the campaign,” Srivaddhanaprabha said. “But we are now faced with a fight to reach that objective and feel a change is necessary to maximise the opportunity presented by the final 13 games.”
Who will replace Ranieri?
Roberto Mancini is the bookmakers’ favourite to become Ranieri’s successor, while Alan Pardew, Guus Hiddink, Neil Lennon and Gary Rowett are also among the candidates.
According to The Times’ Henry Winter, some Leicester players want Nigel Pearson, sacked by the club two years ago, to return to the King Power Stadium.
Mancini sent a message to Ranieri
Mancini would be an interesting appointment. The former Manchester City boss has Premier League experience - albeit at the top of the table, not at the bottom - but he endured rocky relationships with those above him at Galatasaray and Inter Milan.
Mancini, like Mourinho, sent Ranieri a message on social media following his sacking.
The interesting thing about it, of course, is that Mancini is in line to replace the Tinkerman.
“I am sorry for my friend Ranieri,” Mancini wrote. “He will remain in the history of LCFC, in the heart of Leicester fans and all football lovers.”
Is Mancini sorry enough to refuse the job. That remains to be seen.