Monaco part company with Ranieri
Monaco have announced coach Claudio Ranieri has left the club and declared they want the Italian's successor to instil a more attack-minded philosophy in the team.
Ranieri, 62, led Monaco back up to the top flight in France as Ligue 2 champions in 2013, and secured the 2004 Champions League finalists a return to next season's competition after finishing second in the table with a club-record total of 80 points, nine behind champions Paris Saint-Germain.
However, though he had a year remaining on his contract at the Stade Louis II, his position had always been in doubt throughout the second half of the domestic campaign, particularly after Monaco suffered a shock Coupe de France semifinal defeat to eventual winners Guingamp in April.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the club's vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev, said that defeat had blotted Ranieri's copybook in the principality.
"We have taken the decision to go our separate ways, but I want to pay tribute to Claudio. He really has done good work. It was a difficult decision, but at this stage of our project, we needed to bring in new momentum. It's not the sporting or human aspect of things. I respect Ranieri a lot, his work. The only thing, the Coupe de France defeat."
While Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone and French legend Zinedine Zidane have been mooted as potential successors, Sporting Lisbon coach Leonardo Jardim is favourite to take over.
It was reported in France last week that Jardim, 39, had finalised a two-year deal at a meeting with Vasilyev in Lisbon with Monaco paying between three and five million euros in compensation to Sporting. While Vasilyev refused to confirm the name of the new coach, he also told media no agreement had yet been reached.
He did, however, echo the demands of PSG's Qatari owners last summer when they replaced Carlo Ancelotti with Laurent Blanc, asking the new man in charge of Radamel Falcao and Co. to provide more entertainment than Ranieri.
"I can't confirm the new coach. There are still some details to be worked out. That's not the subject. We want a more attacking game, to give even more pleasure to our fans. That's the ambition of the club," said Vasilyev, whose club finished as the French top-flight's second-top scorers, behind only PSG, last season.
"We're looking for a modern coach who can bring in new methods, who has a vision of attacking play."