Claudio Ranieri: I'm staying at Monaco
Claudio Ranieri has insisted he is staying at Monaco despite French media reports claiming Leonardo Jardim has already been lined up to replace him.
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According to Mercato 365, Jardim, 39, reportedly finalised a two-year deal worth two million euros-a-year at a meeting with Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev in Lisbon on Wednesday.
This season's Ligue 1 runners-up will apparently pay between three and five million euros compensation to Jardim's current club, Sporting Lisbon, to have the former Braga and Olympiakos coach replace Ranieri, 62, after the final game of the French season on Saturday.
Speaking to media on Thursday, Ranieri took the unusual step of naming his starting XI for the game with Bordeaux, in which veteran goalkeeper Flavio Roma, 39, will be given an opportunity to play for the first time in a year.
The former Chelsea, Roma and Juventus boss also brushed off suggestions he will soon be out of a job, particularly as he has a year remaining on his contract at the Stade Louis II.
He said: "I'm staying at Monaco. I have contract for another year, so I'm continuing. I'm professional, very professional, so I want to win the last match. I have signed nothing, the club has not said anything to me, so I continue."
Despite having guided Monaco up from Ligue 2 and finished second only to Paris Saint-Germain in their first season back in the top flight, Ranieri's position has been in question for the last five months.
Zinedine Zidane, Jorge Jesus, Mauricio Pochettino and Diego Simeone are among a host of men who have been linked with the job before Monaco settled on Jardim, according to French media.
Though Ranieri's two-year tenure in the principality allegedly only has days to run, Roma told media the squad were unaware they would soon have a new face in charge.
He said: "We know about it, but he hasn't announced it. The club has said nothing, the coach has said nothing. We'll see.
"Perhaps the surprise will be that he stays. For us, it wouldn't be a surprise because he's a coach who has got through to us and who has achieved the objectives set him by the club. It would be normal that he's confirmed in his role, but right now, there's a lot of talk about the coach changing so it could happen."