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 By Ian Holyman

Nantes coach Claudio Ranieri misses anniversary celebrations to fix a leak in London

All football managers make excuses: their own short-sightedness, the blindness of match officials, or the cruelty of Lady Luck. But Claudio Ranieri has a new one.

The Nantes coach missed the French club's 75th anniversary celebrations because he had to go to London to fix a leak.

"Yes, I was in London this weekend, because there was a problem with the plumbing," the former Leicester, Chelsea, Roma and Juventus boss explained. "There was a leak in my apartment."

But that's not all. It appears the Italian was trying to get there, but had ANOTHER issue which stopped him from arriving.

"I was going [to the anniversary celebrations], but my driver took the wrong road," he added. "So we arrived on the wrong side and couldn't get through so I told him to go straight to the airport.

"I know that makes you think of a lot of things, because that's your job [in the media]. I have to work, you have to write. So, to write every day, you have to have something. I give you it, I'm your friend. What would you write otherwise? Nothing."

Ranieri was spotted at a number of matches while he was in England, but insisted that he will see out the two-year contract he signed with Nantes only last summer.

"So, when I go to London, I want to go to England? When I go to Rome, I want to go to Italy?" said the 66-year-old, who is strongly tipped to fill the vacant Italy post at the end of the season.

"I'm here, so I want to be here then? I signed a two-year contract, so I'm going to finish here."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman


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