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Watford choose former Premier League winner Ranieri as new boss

Claudio Ranieri won the Premier League title with unfancied Leicester City in 2016

Watford have appointed Claudio Ranieri as their new head coach following the sacking of Xisco Munoz.

The Premier League club have announced the Italian former Chelsea and Leicester boss has signed a two-year contract at Vicarage Road.

He becomes the 13th permanent manager of the Hornets since the Pozzo family took control of the club in 2012.

Munoz was dismissed on Sunday after just 10 months in charge. The Spaniard successfully guided Watford to promotion back to the top flight last season but performances at the start of this term did not satisfy those upstairs.

“The board feels recent performances strongly indicate a negative trend at a time when team cohesion should be visibly improving,” a statement read.

Ranieri takes over with the club 15th in the table with seven points from seven games, following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Leeds.

The 69-year-old, who famously guided Leicester to the Premier League title in 2016, brings a wealth of experience to the job.

His previous clubs include Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Roma, Inter Milan and Monaco. He has also managed the Greece national side and had a brief spell in charge at Fulham in 2018-19.

Despite his success at Leicester, he was sacked by the Foxes just nine months after their title triumph following a poor start to the 2016-17 campaign. He then lasted just 106 days at Fulham after being unable to steer them away from relegation trouble.

His first match with Watford will be the home clash against second-placed Liverpool on October 16.

The Hornets announced on Monday evening that Paolo Benetti, Carlo Cornacchia and Carlo Spignoli will join Ranieri as backroom staff.

Benetti – Ranieri’s right-hand man since 2007 – and Cornacchia have been appointed as assistant coaches, with Spignoli as fitness coach.

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